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Sample records for continuous breeding evolving

  1. Continuous evaluation of evolving behavioral intervention technologies.

    PubMed

    Mohr, David C; Cheung, Ken; Schueller, Stephen M; Hendricks Brown, C; Duan, Naihua

    2013-10-01

    Behavioral intervention technologies (BITs) are web-based and mobile interventions intended to support patients and consumers in changing behaviors related to health, mental health, and well-being. BITs are provided to patients and consumers in clinical care settings and commercial marketplaces, frequently with little or no evaluation. Current evaluation methods, including RCTs and implementation studies, can require years to validate an intervention. This timeline is fundamentally incompatible with the BIT environment, where technology advancement and changes in consumer expectations occur quickly, necessitating rapidly evolving interventions. However, BITs can routinely and iteratively collect data in a planned and strategic manner and generate evidence through systematic prospective analyses, thereby creating a system that can "learn." A methodologic framework, Continuous Evaluation of Evolving Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CEEBIT), is proposed that can support the evaluation of multiple BITs or evolving versions, eliminating those that demonstrate poorer outcomes, while allowing new BITs to be entered at any time. CEEBIT could be used to ensure the effectiveness of BITs provided through deployment platforms in clinical care organizations or BIT marketplaces. The features of CEEBIT are described, including criteria for the determination of inferiority, determination of BIT inclusion, methods of assigning consumers to BITs, definition of outcomes, and evaluation of the usefulness of the system. CEEBIT offers the potential to collapse initial evaluation and postmarketing surveillance, providing ongoing assurance of safety and efficacy to patients and consumers, payers, and policymakers. PMID:24050429

  2. Continuous Evaluation of Evolving Behavioral Intervention Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, David C.; Cheung, Ken; Schueller, Stephen M.; Brown, C. Hendricks; Duan, Naihua

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral intervention technologies (BITs) are web-based and mobile interventions intended to support patients and consumers in changing behaviors related to health, mental health, and well-being. BITs are provided to patients and consumers in clinical care settings and commercial marketplaces, frequently with little or no evaluation. Current evaluation methods, including RCTs and implementation studies, can require years to validate an intervention. This timeline is fundamentally incompatible with the BIT environment, where technology advancement and changes in consumer expectations occur quickly, necessitating rapidly evolving interventions. However, BITs can routinely and iteratively collect data in a planned and strategic manner and generate evidence through systematic prospective analyses, thereby creating a system that can “learn.” A methodologic framework, Continuous Evaluation of Evolving Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CEEBIT), is proposed that can support the evaluation of multiple BITs or evolving versions, eliminating those that demonstrate poorer outcomes, while allowing new BITs to be entered at any time. CEEBIT could be used to ensure the effectiveness of BITs provided through deployment platforms in clinical care organizations or BIT marketplaces. The features of CEEBIT are described, including criteria for the determination of inferiority, determination of BIT inclusion, methods of assigning consumers to BITs, definition of outcomes, and evaluation of the usefulness of the system. CEEBIT offers the potential to collapse initial evaluation and postmarketing surveillance, providing ongoing assurance of safety and efficacy to patients and consumers, payers, and policymakers. PMID:24050429

  3. Evolving Alignment in International Continuing Professional Development Accreditation.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Graham T; Aboulsoud, Samar; Gordon, Jennifer; McKenna, Mindi; Meuser, James; Staz, Mark; Campbell, Craig M

    2016-01-01

    Several of the world's accreditation systems for continuing professional development (CPD) are evolving to encourage continuous improvement in the competence and performance of health care providers and in the organizations in which they provide patient care. Clinicians learn best when they can to choose from a diverse array of activities and formats that are relevant and meet their needs. Since choice and diversity are key to meeting clinicians' needs, several CPD accreditors have been engaging in deliberate, concerted efforts to identify a core set of principles that can serve as the basis for determining substantive equivalency between CPD accreditation systems. Substantive equivalency is intended to support the mobility of learners, allowing them to access accredited learning activities that are recognized by various CPD accreditation systems in a manner that maximizes the value of those accreditation systems, while minimizing the burden of adhering to their requirements. In this article, we propose a set of core principles that all CPD accreditation systems must express as the basis for determining substantive equivalency between CPD accreditation systems. The article will illustrate how five CPD accreditation systems (two in the USA, two in Canada, and one in Qatar), differing in focus (activity-based versus provider-based), context, and culture, express these values and metrics, and concludes by identifying the value of substantive equivalency for learners, medical regulators, and CPD accreditation systems. PMID:27584065

  4. Evolving Alignment in International Continuing Professional Development Accreditation.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Graham T; Aboulsoud, Samar; Gordon, Jennifer; McKenna, Mindi; Meuser, James; Staz, Mark; Campbell, Craig M

    2016-01-01

    Several of the world's accreditation systems for continuing professional development (CPD) are evolving to encourage continuous improvement in the competence and performance of health care providers and in the organizations in which they provide patient care. Clinicians learn best when they can to choose from a diverse array of activities and formats that are relevant and meet their needs. Since choice and diversity are key to meeting clinicians' needs, several CPD accreditors have been engaging in deliberate, concerted efforts to identify a core set of principles that can serve as the basis for determining substantive equivalency between CPD accreditation systems. Substantive equivalency is intended to support the mobility of learners, allowing them to access accredited learning activities that are recognized by various CPD accreditation systems in a manner that maximizes the value of those accreditation systems, while minimizing the burden of adhering to their requirements. In this article, we propose a set of core principles that all CPD accreditation systems must express as the basis for determining substantive equivalency between CPD accreditation systems. The article will illustrate how five CPD accreditation systems (two in the USA, two in Canada, and one in Qatar), differing in focus (activity-based versus provider-based), context, and culture, express these values and metrics, and concludes by identifying the value of substantive equivalency for learners, medical regulators, and CPD accreditation systems.

  5. The Continuously Evolving Land Use Control Climate in FUSRAP - 12285

    SciTech Connect

    Ewy, Ann; Waples, Richard

    2012-07-01

    coordination as well as coordination and input from stakeholders. With guidance on LUCs available from a number of entities, the USACE now has the opportunity to develop consistency in determining how LUCs are handled on FUSRAP projects. The FUSRAP ER, ER 200-1-4, is currently being revised and will broadly touch on LUCs. This broad approach was a result of recognizing the magnitude of variances and site specific components that come into play when applying LUCs to our FUSRAP sites. As land use controls scenarios continue to arise on our FUSRAP sites, the methods for how our project teams address those will continue to evolve. The Program is continuing to develop guidance on how to address LUCs. In the interim, our FUSRAP projects can share lessons learned on the LUCs they are implementing. (authors)

  6. Reproductive toxicity of ethylene glycol monoethyl ether tested by continuous breeding of CD-1 mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lamb, J.C. IV; Gulati, D.K.; Russell, V.S.; Hommel, L.; Sabharwal, P.S.

    1984-08-01

    The reproductive toxicity of ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGEE) was evaluated in the Fertility Assessment by Continuous Breeding protocol. Both male and female CD-1 mice were given 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2% EGEE in the drinking water and were housed as breeding pairs continuously for 14 weeks. Significant adverse effects on fertility were seen at 1 and 2% but not at 0.5%. After the continuous breeding phase of this test was completed, treated males were housed with control females and treated females with control males and fertility and reproduction were compared to the corresponding pairs of control male and control female mice. Both males and females from the 1 and 2% groups were affected. Testicular atrophy decreased sperm motility and increased abnormal sperm were noted in the treated males, but no specific anomalies were detected in the females. 7 references, 1 figure, 7 tables.

  7. Breeding systems, hybridization and continuing evolution in Avon Gorge Sorbus

    PubMed Central

    Ludwig, Shanna; Robertson, Ashley; Rich, Timothy C. G.; Djordjević, Milena; Cerović, Radosav; Houston, Libby; Harris, Stephen A.; Hiscock, Simon J.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Interspecific hybridization and polyploidy are key processes in plant evolution and are responsible for ongoing genetic diversification in the genus Sorbus (Rosaceae). The Avon Gorge, Bristol, UK, is a world ‘hotspot’ for Sorbus diversity and home to diploid sexual species and polyploid apomictic species. This research investigated how mating system variation, hybridization and polyploidy interact to generate this biological diversity. Methods Mating systems of diploid, triploid and tetraploid Sorbus taxa were analysed using pollen tube growth and seed set assays from controlled pollinations, and parent–offspring genotyping of progeny from open and manual pollinations. Key Results Diploid Sorbus are outcrossing and self-incompatible (SI). Triploid taxa are pseudogamous apomicts and genetically invariable, but because they also display self-incompatibility, apomictic seed set requires pollen from other Sorbus taxa – a phenomenon which offers direct opportunities for hybridization. In contrast tetraploid taxa are pseudogamous but self-compatible, so do not have the same obligate requirement for intertaxon pollination. Conclusions The mating inter-relationships among Avon Gorge Sorbus taxa are complex and are the driving force for hybridization and ongoing genetic diversification. In particular, the presence of self-incompatibility in triploid pseudogamous apomicts imposes a requirement for interspecific cross-pollination, thereby facilitating continuing diversification and evolution through rare sexual hybridization events. This is the first report of naturally occurring pseudogamous apomictic SI plant populations, and we suggest that interspecific pollination, in combination with a relaxed endosperm balance requirement, is the most likely route to the persistence of these populations. We propose that Avon Gorge Sorbus represents a model system for studying the establishment and persistence of SI apomicts in natural populations. PMID

  8. ANALYSIS OF GENOMIC DNA METHYLATION AND GENE EXPRESSION IN CHINESE CABBAGE (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) AFTER CONTINUOUS SEEDLING BREEDING.

    PubMed

    Tao, L; Wang, X L; Guo, M H; Zhang, Y W

    2015-08-01

    Vernalization plays a key role in the bolting and flowering of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis). Plants can switch from vegetative to reproductive growth and then bolt and flower under low temperature induction. The economic benefits of Chinese cabbage will decline significantly when the bolting happens before the vegetative body fully grows due to a lack of the edible value. It was found that continuous seedling breeding reduced the heading of Chinese cabbage and led to bolt and flower more easily. In the present study, two inbred lines, termed A161 and A105, were used as experiment materials. These two lines were subjected to vernalization and formed four types: seeds-seedling breeding once, seedling breeding twice, seedling breeding thrice and normal type. Differences in plant phenotype were compared. DNA methylation analysis was performed based on MSAP method. The differential fragments were cloned and analyzed by qPCR. Results showed that plants after seedling breeding thrice had a loosen heading leaves, elongated center axis and were easier to bolt and flower. It is suggested that continuous seedling breeding had a weaker winterness. It was observed that genome methylation level decreased with increasing generation. Four differential genes were identified, short for BraAPC1, BraEMP3, BraUBC26, and BraAL5. Fluorescent qPCR analysis showed that expression of four genes varied at different reproduction modes and different vernalization time. It is indicated that these genes might be involve in the development and regulation of bolting and flowering of plants. Herein, the molecular mechanism that continuous seedling breeding caused weaker winterness was analyzed preliminarily. It plays an important guiding significance for Chinese cabbage breeding.

  9. Evolution of Comprehensive Care, Part 3. Periodontal Treatment Continues to Evolve.

    PubMed

    Kurtzman, Gregori M; Hughes, Mary K

    2015-05-01

    Perio treatment has evolved beyond simple scaling with hand instruments. Ultrasonics and diode lasers have improved both the efficiency of treatment as well as treatment prognosis to arresting the disease process and gaining clinical attachment and decreasing pocket depth. Add to this the benefits of adjunct medicaments both at time of treatment via site placement and during routine home care by the patient, and we are able to tip treatment outcome in a more favorable direction. Periodontology has been closely linked to systemic health both as a causative agent to health issues and as a secondary site for some medical conditions. Dentistry has truly--and finally--become a part of total healthcare.

  10. Whole-genome sequencing of six dog breeds from continuous altitudes reveals adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    Gou, Xiao; Wang, Zhen; Li, Ning; Qiu, Feng; Xu, Ze; Yan, Dawei; Yang, Shuli; Jia, Jia; Kong, Xiaoyan; Wei, Zehui; Lu, Shaoxiong; Lian, Linsheng; Wu, Changxin; Wang, Xueyan; Li, Guozhi; Ma, Teng; Jiang, Qiang; Zhao, Xue; Yang, Jiaqiang; Liu, Baohong; Wei, Dongkai; Li, Hong; Yang, Jianfa; Yan, Yulin; Zhao, Guiying; Dong, Xinxing; Li, Mingli; Deng, Weidong; Leng, Jing; Wei, Chaochun; Wang, Chuan; Mao, Huaming; Zhang, Hao; Ding, Guohui; Li, Yixue

    2014-01-01

    The hypoxic environment imposes severe selective pressure on species living at high altitude. To understand the genetic bases of adaptation to high altitude in dogs, we performed whole-genome sequencing of 60 dogs including five breeds living at continuous altitudes along the Tibetan Plateau from 800 to 5100 m as well as one European breed. More than 150× sequencing coverage for each breed provides us with a comprehensive assessment of the genetic polymorphisms of the dogs, including Tibetan Mastiffs. Comparison of the breeds from different altitudes reveals strong signals of population differentiation at the locus of hypoxia-related genes including endothelial Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) domain protein 1 (EPAS1) and beta hemoglobin cluster. Notably, four novel nonsynonymous mutations specific to high-altitude dogs are identified at EPAS1, one of which occurred at a quite conserved site in the PAS domain. The association testing between EPAS1 genotypes and blood-related phenotypes on additional high-altitude dogs reveals that the homozygous mutation is associated with decreased blood flow resistance, which may help to improve hemorheologic fitness. Interestingly, EPAS1 was also identified as a selective target in Tibetan highlanders, though no amino acid changes were found. Thus, our results not only indicate parallel evolution of humans and dogs in adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia, but also provide a new opportunity to study the role of EPAS1 in the adaptive processes. PMID:24721644

  11. Evolving drainage networks and nutrient fluxes in continuous permafrost zones of interior and arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J. C.; Smith, R. L.; Gurney, K.; Wipfli, M.; Ewing, S. A.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Striegl, R. G.; Schmutz, J.

    2012-12-01

    It is generally accepted that permafrost thaw will release carbon and nutrients into high-latitude environments. However, utilization of these additions is highly dependent on hydrologic transport within ecosystems. Here we compare two headwater catchments in the interior Alaska and two sites further north on the Arctic Coastal Plain. All sites are underlain by continuous permafrost and summer warming leads to seasonal deepening of the active layer up to 0.3 to 1 m in early August. This annual thaw cycle promotes water and solute infiltration and storage, and often allows rapid movement of water and solutes near the organic/mineral and freeze/thaw soil boundaries. We present data from laboratory incubations, runoff and interflow sampling, and natural and manipulative stream nutrient additions. Our results indicate 1) the ability of runoff to access and thaw solute-rich water at the top of the permafrost, 2) the high concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous that can be delivered to aquatic ecosystems, and 3) the potential for rapid nutrient assimilation and cycling in ponds and low-order streams. We also provide evidence that rapid transport often limits actual cycling/assimilation rates. Understanding these coupled hydrological and biogeochemical processes is increasingly a focus of catchment and polar hydrology and will aid in predicting the effects of decadal-scale permafrost thaw and subsurface flowpath and drainage network evolution on nutrient fluxes and cycling.

  12. Evolving high fidelity climate sensor simulators to preserve climate data record continuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teague, Kelly K.; Smith, G. L.; Priestley, Kory

    2012-09-01

    Six CERES scanning radiometers have flown to date. The Proto-­-Flight Model flew aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission spacecraft in November 1997. Two CERES instruments, Flight Models (FM) 1 and 2, are aboard the Terra spacecraft, which was launched in December 1999. Two more CERES instruments, FM-­-3 and FM-­-4, are on the Aqua spacecraft, which was placed in orbit in May 2002. These instruments continue to operate after providing over a decade of Earth Radiation Budget data. FM-­-5 is onboard the NPP spacecraft and launched in October 2011. FM-­-6 is being built for use on the JPPS spacecraft. A successor to these CERES instruments is presently in the definition stage. This paper describes the role of instrument simulators in the life cycle of the CERES instruments and how the simulators may be modified to better represent the instrument and its operations. NASA LaRC originally built the CERES instrument simulators. They were created to test CERES flight loads and view the resulting instrument response. The simulator's interface to the instrument processor and spacecraft bus enables the verification of all software modifications, which are uploaded to orbiting instruments. The simulators were recently redesigned to provide additional functionality, however not all instrument operations are completely replicated. The existing simulator software provides the necessary stubs to incorporate modifications and improvements. One possible upgrade is a simulation to imitate the CERES detector assembly. Another useful enhancement is fault injection into select instrument systems, to simulate operational failures and resolve anomaly situations. Many features could be added to the simulator, all of which can ultimately improve instrument performance.

  13. Assessment of ethylene glycol monobutyl and monophenyl ether reproductive toxicity using a continuous breeding protocol in Swiss CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Heindel, J J; Gulati, D K; Russell, V S; Reel, J R; Lawton, A D; Lamb, J C

    1990-11-01

    A continuous breeding reproduction study design was utilized to examine the reproductive toxicity of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) and ethylene glycol monophenyl ether (EGPE). Swiss CD-1 mice were administered EGBE in drinking water (0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0%, i.e., 0.7, 1.3, and 2.1 g/kg body wt/day) and EGPE was administered via the feed (0, 0.25, 1.25, and 2.5%, i.e., 0, 0.4, 2.0, and 4 g/kg body wt/day). Both male and female mice were dosed for 7 days prior to and during a 98-day cohabitation period. EGBE was toxic at the high (2%) and mid dose (1%) to adult F0 female mice: 13 out of 22 females at the high dose and 6 out of 20 at the mid dose died during the cohabitation period. Both the high- and mid-dose animals produced fewer litters/pair, fewer pups/litter, with decreased pup weight. These effects occurred in the presence of decreased body weight, decreased water consumption, and increased kidney weight. A crossover mating trial indicated that the reproductive effects could be attributed primarily to an effect on the female. This was substantiated at necropsy where testes and epididymis weights were normal as were sperm number and motility. Fertility of the offspring of the 0.5% group was normal in the presence of increased liver weights. With respect to EGPE, there was no change in the ability to produce five litters during the continuous breeding period. There was, however, a significant but small (10-15%) decrease in the number of pups/litter and in pup weight in the high-dose group. A crossover mating trial suggested a female component of the reproductive toxicity of EGPE. While fertility was only minimally compromised, severe neonatal toxicity was observed. By Day 21 there were only 8 out of 40 litters in the mid- and high-dose groups which had at least one male and female/litter. Second generation reproductive performance of the mid-dose group (1.25%) was unaffected except for a small decrease in live pup weight. In summary the reproductive

  14. Cardiac imaging of congenital heart diseases during interventional procedures continues to evolve: Pros and cons of the main techniques.

    PubMed

    Hascoët, Sebastien; Warin-Fresse, Karine; Baruteau, Alban-Elouen; Hadeed, Khaled; Karsenty, Clement; Petit, Jérôme; Guérin, Patrice; Fraisse, Alain; Acar, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    Cardiac catheterization has contributed to the progress made in the management of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). First, it allowed clarification of the diagnostic assessment of CHD, by offering a better understanding of normal cardiac physiology and the pathophysiology and anatomy of complex malformations. Then, it became an alternative to surgery and a major component of the therapeutic approach for some CHD lesions. Nowadays, techniques have evolved and cardiac catheterization is widely used to percutaneously close intracardiac shunts, to relieve obstructive valvar or vessel lesions, and for transcatheter valve replacement. Accurate imaging is mandatory to guide these procedures. Cardiac imaging during catheterization of CHD must provide accurate images of lesions, surrounding cardiac structures, medical devices and tools used to deliver them. Cardiac imaging has to be 'real-time' with an excellent temporal resolution to ensure 'eyes-hands' synchronization and 'device-target area' accurate positioning. In this comprehensive review, we provide an overview of conventional cardiac imaging tools used in the catheterization laboratory in daily practice, as well as the effect of recent evolution and future imaging modalities. PMID:26858142

  15. Life has Evolved to Evolve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deem, Michael

    2006-03-01

    Concomitant with the evolution of biological diversity must have been the evolution of mechanisms that facilitate evolution, due to the essentially infinite complexity of protein sequence space. We describe how evolvability can be an object of Darwinian selection, emphasizing the collective nature of the process. Rapid or dramatic environmental change leads to selection for greater evolvability. The selective pressure for large scale genetic moves, such as DNA exchange, becomes increasingly strong as the environmental conditions become more uncertain. These results demonstrate that evolvability is a selectable trait and allow for the explanation of a large body of experimental results. Many observations within evolutionary biology, heretofore considered evolutionary happenstance or accidents, are explained by selection for evolvability. As specific examaples, we discuss evolution within the immune system and evolution of drug resistant microrganisims.

  16. 1980 breeding bird censuses

    SciTech Connect

    Raynor, G.S.

    1980-09-01

    As part of a program to characterize the plant and animal life of the Laboratory site and the surrounding region, the two breeding bird censuses originated in 1977 were continued in 1980. Coverage was below that of previous years due to illness and travel of some participants, but 11 trips were made to the BNL plot and 8 to the Westhampton plot. Each was censused by separate teams of three volunteer observers. The number of breeding species and number of territorial males on the BNL plot have progressively declined since 1977 but little change has taken place in either number of territories or species composition on the Westhampton plot.

  17. Physiological breeding.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Matthew; Langridge, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Physiological breeding crosses parents with different complex but complementary traits to achieve cumulative gene action for yield, while selecting progeny using remote sensing, possibly in combination with genomic selection. Physiological approaches have already demonstrated significant genetic gains in Australia and several developing countries of the International Wheat Improvement Network. The techniques involved (see Graphical Abstract) also provide platforms for research and refinement of breeding methodologies. Recent examples of these include screening genetic resources for novel expression of Calvin cycle enzymes, identification of common genetic bases for heat and drought adaptation, and genetic dissection of trade-offs among yield components. Such information, combined with results from physiological crosses designed to test novel trait combinations, lead to more precise breeding strategies, and feed models of genotype-by-environment interaction to help build new plant types and experimental environments for future climates. PMID:27161822

  18. Natural heterogeneity and evolving geochemistry of Lower Tuscaloosa Formation brine in response to continuing CO2 injection at Cranfield EOR site, Mississippi, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thordsen, J. J.; Kharaka, Y. K.; Thomas, B.; Abedini, A. A.; Conaway, C. H.; Manning, M. A.; Lu, J.

    2012-12-01

    Geochemical monitoring of Lower Tuscaloosa Formation (LTF) brine continues at the Cranfield CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and sequestration site to investigate the potential for the geologic storage of large volumes of CO2 in saline aquifers and depleted reservoirs. Cranfield oil field is a domal depleted oil and gas reservoir in the Mississippi Interior Salt Basin, with production in heterogeneous fluvial sandstones of the LTF (depth ~3000 m). CO2 flood began in July 2008. Brine samples were collected from selected production wells in March and December 2009, April 2010, and November 2011. Intensive sampling also was conducted for the first 18 days of a CO2 injection experiment below the oil-water contact (December 2009) at the Detailed Area of Study (DAS) 3-well array. The sampling objectives are to define the geochemical composition of the pre-injection brine, and to understand the geochemical changes resulting from interactions between the injected CO2, brine, and reservoir minerals. Results show that Tuscaloosa brine is Na-Ca-Cl type with total salinity ranging from ~140 to 160 g/L TDS (50 samples). Relatively large variations are observed in major divalent cations (Ca ~7,500-14,000 mg/L, Mg ~800-1,250 mg/L, Sr ~475-750 mg/L). Significant positive correlations are noted amongst Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, and Br, whereas these solutes all trend negatively with Na and Cl. These results may be interpreted as possible binary mixing between two end-member waters: (1) high Na-Cl (51 and 97 g/L, respectively), low Ca, Mg, Sr, and Br (~7500, 800, 475, 280 mg/L, respectively); and (2) low Na-Cl (40 and 86 g/L), high Ca, Mg, Sr, and Br (~14,000, 1250, 750, 480 mg/L). This apparent binary mixing has no obvious correlation to CO2 injection, which suggests that observed variations are due to natural heterogeneities in LTF brine within the Cranfield dome. The variations may indicate vertical and/or lateral proximity to a halite source (i.e. salt dome), with the high Na-Cl, low Br

  19. Simulated Breeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unemi, Tatsuo

    This chapter describes a basic framework of simulated breeding, a type of interactive evolutionary computing to breed artifacts, whose origin is Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. These methods make it easy for humans to design a complex object adapted to his/her subjective criteria, just similarly to agricultural products we have been developing over thousands of years. Starting from randomly initialized genome, the solution candidates are improved through several generations with artificial selection. The graphical user interface helps the process of breeding with techniques of multifield user interface and partial breeding. The former improves the diversity of individuals that prevents being trapped at local optimum. The latter makes it possible for the user to fix features he/she already satisfied. These methods were examined through artistic applications by the author: SBART for graphics art and SBEAT for music. Combining with a direct genome editor and exportation to another graphical or musical tool on the computer, they can be powerful tools for artistic creation. These systems may contribute to the creation of a type of new culture.

  20. Evolvable Neural Software System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curtis, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs may have a ruler NBF, which in turn communicates with other sets of NBFs. These sets of NBFs may function as nodes to a ruler node, which are also NBF constructs. In this manner, the synthetic neural system can exhibit the complexity, three-dimensional connectivity, and adaptability of biological neural systems. An added advantage of ENSS over a natural neural system is its ability to modify its core genetic code in response to environmental changes as reflected in needs and requirements. The neural system is fully adaptive and evolvable and is trainable before release. It continues to rewire itself while on the job. The NBF is a unique, bilevel intelligence neural system composed of a higher-level heuristic neural system (HNS) and a lower-level, autonomic neural system (ANS). Taken together, the HNS and the ANS give each NBF the complete capabilities of a biological neural system to match sensory inputs to actions. Another feature of the NBF is the Evolvable Neural Interface (ENI), which links the HNS and ANS. The ENI solves the interface problem between these two systems by actively adapting and evolving from a primitive initial state (a Neural Thread) to a complicated, operational ENI and successfully adapting to a training sequence of sensory input. This simulates the adaptation of a biological neural system in a developmental phase. Within the greater multi-NBF and multi-node ENSS, self-similar ENI s provide the basis for inter-NBF and inter-node connectivity.

  1. Flu virus continues to evolve in swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Swine can be infected with human- and avian-adapted influenza viruses, which has labeled pigs as "mixing vessels" for generating novel, genetically diverse viruses that may have epidemic or pandemic potential. However, it has been documented that humans, some species of birds and other mammals may a...

  2. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  3. Best of Breed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohn, Jason

    2004-01-01

    No team of engineers, no matter how much time they took or how many bottles of cabernet they consumed, would dream up an antenna that looked like a deer antler on steroids. Yet that's what a group at NASA Ames Research Center came up with-thanks to a little help from Darwin. NASA's Space Technology 5 nanosatellites, which are scheduled to start measuring Earth's magnetosphere in late 2004, requires an antenna that can receive a wide range of frequencies regardless of the spacecraft's orientation. Rather than leave such exacting requirements in the hands of a human, the engineers decided to breed a design using genetic algorithms and 32 Linux PCs. The computers generated small antenna-constructing programs (the genotypes) and executed them to produce designs (the phenotypes). Then the designs were evaluated using an antenna simulator. The team settled on the form pictured here. You won't find this kind of antenna in any textbook, design guide, or research paper. But its innovative structure meets a challenging set of specifications. If successfully deployed, it will be the first evolved antenna to make it out of the lab and the first piece of evolved hardware ever to fly in space.

  4. Temporal flexibility of reproduction in temperate-breeding dabbling ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, Gary L.

    2000-01-01

    I compared nesting intervals during three consecutive years in five species of temperate-nesting dabbling ducks (Mallard [Anas platyrhynchos], Northern Pintail [Anas acuta], Northern Shoveler [Anas clypeata], Blue-winged Teal [Anas discors], Gadwall [Anas strepera]) and assessed whether differences existed in timing of refractoriness. Most nesting by females of all five species ended by the summer solstice. Nesting ended earliest for Northern Shovelers and Northern Pintails and latest for Gadwalls. Some Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, and Gadwalls continued to nest into mid- and late summer, whereas Northern Shovelers and Northern pintails did not. Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, and Gadwalls accounted for 99% (81 of 82) of flightless broods resulting from nests initiated during mid- or late summer in North Dakota and 98% (58 of 59) of flightless juveniles shot on or after 1 October by a random sample of duck hunters from across the United States. Early cessation of breeding by Northern Shovelers may have evolved in response to the species' limited flexibility in diet. Photorefractory mechanisms that limit most breeding to spring presumably evolved in response to severe constraints on reproductive success when nesting continued through summer(e.g. mortality of late-hatched young and molting females due to low temperatures). Interspecific differences in photosensitivity may account for variation in timing of cessation of nesting in late spring, but controlled experiments are needed to assess the possible role of non-photic influences. My results suggest that the refractory mechanisms controlling length of the breeding in temperate-nesting dabbling ducks are more varied and complex than previously thought, with non-photic influences (e.g. water conditions, food availability, food quality) having a larger role than indicated by earlier research.

  5. USDA lettuce breeding and genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The lettuce industry of California requires continued development of improved, adapted cultivars to meet new disease and insect problems, changes in the market, and changes in growing procedures. The USDA lettuce breeding and genetics project aims to incorporate valuable traits into crisphead, mixed...

  6. Evolving paradigms in pharmacovigilance.

    PubMed

    Brewster, Wendy; Gibbs, Trevor; Lacroix, Karol; Murray, Alison; Tydeman, Michael; Almenoff, June

    2006-05-01

    All medicines have adverse effects as well as benefits. The aim of pharmacovigilance is to protect public health by monitoring medicines to identify and evaluate issues and ensure that the overall benefits outweigh the potential risks. The tools and processes used in pharmacovigilance are continually evolving. Increasingly sophisticated tools are being designed to evaluate safety data from clinical trials to enhance the likelihood of detecting safety signals ahead of product registration. Methods include integration of safety data throughout development, meta-analytical techniques, quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluation of adverse event data and graphical tools to explore laboratory and biometric data. Electronic data capture facilitates monitoring of ongoing studies so that it is possible to promptly identify potential issues and manage patient safety. In addition, GSK employs a number of proactive methods for post-marketing signal detection and knowledge management using state-of-the-art statistical and analytical tools. Using these tools, together with safety data collected through pharmacoepidemiologic studies, literature and spontaneous reporting, potential adverse drug reactions can be better identified in marketed products. In summary, the information outlined in this paper provides a valuable benchmark for risk management and pharmacovigilance in pharmaceutical development.

  7. Diet of canvasbacks during breeding

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Serie, J.R.; Noyes, J.H.

    1990-01-01

    We examined diets of canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) breeding in southwestern Manitoba during 1977-81. Percent volume of animal foods consumed did not differ between males and females nor among prenesting, rapid follicle growth, laying, incubation, and renesting periods in females (mean = 50.1%). Tubers and shoots of fennelleaf pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) and midge larvae (Chironomidae) were the predominant foods, comprising on average 45% and 23% of the diet volume, respectively. Continued importance of plant foods to canvasbacks throughout reproduction contrasts with the mostly invertebrate diets of other prairie-breeding ducks, and does not fit current theories of nutritional ecology of breeding anatids (i.e., females meet the protein requirements of reproduction by consuming a high proportion of animal foods).

  8. Prokaryote and eukaryote evolvability.

    PubMed

    Poole, Anthony M; Phillips, Matthew J; Penny, David

    2003-05-01

    The concept of evolvability covers a broad spectrum of, often contradictory, ideas. At one end of the spectrum it is equivalent to the statement that evolution is possible, at the other end are untestable post hoc explanations, such as the suggestion that current evolutionary theory cannot explain the evolution of evolvability. We examine similarities and differences in eukaryote and prokaryote evolvability, and look for explanations that are compatible with a wide range of observations. Differences in genome organisation between eukaryotes and prokaryotes meets this criterion. The single origin of replication in prokaryote chromosomes (versus multiple origins in eukaryotes) accounts for many differences because the time to replicate a prokaryote genome limits its size (and the accumulation of junk DNA). Both prokaryotes and eukaryotes appear to switch from genetic stability to genetic change in response to stress. We examine a range of stress responses, and discuss how these impact on evolvability, particularly in unicellular organisms versus complex multicellular ones. Evolvability is also limited by environmental interactions (including competition) and we describe a model that places limits on potential evolvability. Examples are given of its application to predator competition and limits to lateral gene transfer. We suggest that unicellular organisms evolve largely through a process of metabolic change, resulting in biochemical diversity. Multicellular organisms evolve largely through morphological changes, not through extensive changes to cellular biochemistry. PMID:12689728

  9. REFLECTIONS ON EVOLVING CHANGE.

    PubMed

    Angood, Peter B

    2016-01-01

    Physician leadership is increasingly recognized as pivotal for improved change in health care. Multi-professional care teams, education and leadership are evolving trends that are important for health care's future. PMID:27295737

  10. Advances in Japanese pear breeding in Japan.

    PubMed

    Saito, Toshihiro

    2016-01-01

    The Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai) is one of the most widely grown fruit trees in Japan, and it has been used throughout Japan's history. The commercial production of pears increased rapidly with the successive discoveries of the chance seedling cultivars 'Chojuro' and 'Nijisseiki' around 1890, and the development of new cultivars has continued since 1915. The late-maturing, leading cultivars 'Niitaka' and 'Shinko' were released during the initial breeding stage. Furthermore, systematic breeding by the Horticultural Research Station (currently, NARO Institute of Fruit Tree Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NIFTS)) began in 1935, which mainly aimed to improve fruit quality by focusing on flesh texture and black spot disease resistance. To date, 22 cultivars have been released, including 'Kosui', 'Hosui', and 'Akizuki', which are current leading cultivars from the breeding program. Four induced mutant cultivars induced by gamma irradiation, which exhibit some resistance to black spot disease, were released from the Institute of Radiation Breeding. Among these cultivars, 'Gold Nijisseiki' has become a leading cultivar. Moreover, 'Nansui' from the Nagano prefectural institute breeding program was released, and it has also become a leading cultivar. Current breeding objectives at NIFTS mainly combine superior fruit quality with traits related to labor and cost reduction, multiple disease resistance, or self-compatibility. Regarding future breeding, marker-assisted selection for each trait, QTL analyses, genome-wide association studies, and genomic selection analyses are currently in progress. PMID:27069390

  11. Sexual Reproduction and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the second edition of Plant Propagation Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, we have combined the first edition chapters 36: Sexual Reproduction in Angiosperms and 37: Breeding Horticultural Plants into the present single chapter Sexual Reproduction and Breeding. These topics are so closely relate...

  12. Can non-breeding be a cost of breeding dispersal?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danchin, E.; Cam, E.

    2002-01-01

    Breeding habitat selection and dispersal are crucial processes that affect many components of fitness. Breeding dispersal entails costs, one of which has been neglected: dispersing animals may miss breeding opportunities because breeding dispersal requires finding a new nesting site and mate, two time- and energy-consuming activities. Dispersers are expected to be prone to non-breeding. We used the kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) to test whether breeding dispersal influences breeding probability. Breeding probability was associated with dispersal, in that both were negatively influenced by private information (previous individual reproductive success) and public information (average reproductive success of conspecifics) about patch quality. Furthermore, the probability of skipping breeding was 1.7 times higher in birds that settled in a new patch relative to those that remained on the same patch. Finally, non-breeders that resumed breeding were 4.4 times more likely to disperse than birds that bred in successive years. Although private information may influence breeding probability directly, the link between breeding probability and public information may be indirect, through the influence of public information on breeding dispersal, non-breeding thus being a cost of dispersal. These results support the hypothesis that dispersal may result in not being able to breed. More generally, non-breeding (which can be interpreted as an extreme form of breeding failure) may reveal costs of various previous activities. Because monitoring the non-breeding portion of a population is difficult, non-breeders have been neglected in many studies of reproduction trade-offs.

  13. Evolvability is inevitable: increasing evolvability without the pressure to adapt.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Joel; Stanley, Kenneth O

    2013-01-01

    Why evolvability appears to have increased over evolutionary time is an important unresolved biological question. Unlike most candidate explanations, this paper proposes that increasing evolvability can result without any pressure to adapt. The insight is that if evolvability is heritable, then an unbiased drifting process across genotypes can still create a distribution of phenotypes biased towards evolvability, because evolvable organisms diffuse more quickly through the space of possible phenotypes. Furthermore, because phenotypic divergence often correlates with founding niches, niche founders may on average be more evolvable, which through population growth provides a genotypic bias towards evolvability. Interestingly, the combination of these two mechanisms can lead to increasing evolvability without any pressure to out-compete other organisms, as demonstrated through experiments with a series of simulated models. Thus rather than from pressure to adapt, evolvability may inevitably result from any drift through genotypic space combined with evolution's passive tendency to accumulate niches.

  14. Small range and distinct distribution in a satellite breeding colony of the critically endangered Waved Albatross

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine the proximate consequences of the limited breeding distribution of the critically endangered Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), we present continuous breeding season GPS tracks highlighting differences in behaviour, destinations, and distances travelled between ...

  15. The Evolving Office of the Registrar

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pace, Harold L.

    2011-01-01

    A healthy registrar's office will continue to evolve as it considers student, faculty, and institutional needs; staff talents and expectations; technological opportunities; economic realities; space issues; work environments; and where the strategic plan is taking the institution in support of the mission. Several recognized leaders in the field…

  16. Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, John H.; Hedgecock, Jud; Nienaber, Terry; Cooper, Bonnie; Allen, Carlton; Ming, Doug

    2000-01-01

    The Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA) is a high-temperature furnace and mass spectrometer instrument for determining the mineralogical composition and reactivity of soil samples. REGA provides key mineralogical and reactivity data that is needed to understand the soil chemistry of an asteroid, which then aids in determining in-situ which materials should be selected for return to earth. REGA is capable of conducting a number of direct soil measurements that are unique to this instrument. These experimental measurements include: (1) Mass spectrum analysis of evolved gases from soil samples as they are heated from ambient temperature to 900 C; and (2) Identification of liberated chemicals, e.g., water, oxygen, sulfur, chlorine, and fluorine. REGA would be placed on the surface of a near earth asteroid. It is an autonomous instrument that is controlled from earth but does the analysis of regolith materials automatically. The REGA instrument consists of four primary components: (1) a flight-proven mass spectrometer, (2) a high-temperature furnace, (3) a soil handling system, and (4) a microcontroller. An external arm containing a scoop or drill gathers regolith samples. A sample is placed in the inlet orifice where the finest-grained particles are sifted into a metering volume and subsequently moved into a crucible. A movable arm then places the crucible in the furnace. The furnace is closed, thereby sealing the inner volume to collect the evolved gases for analysis. Owing to the very low g forces on an asteroid compared to Mars or the moon, the sample must be moved from inlet to crucible by mechanical means rather than by gravity. As the soil sample is heated through a programmed pattern, the gases evolved at each temperature are passed through a transfer tube to the mass spectrometer for analysis and identification. Return data from the instrument will lead to new insights and discoveries including: (1) Identification of the molecular masses of all of the gases

  17. Effect of sex, age, and breed on genetic recombination features in cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Meiotic recombination is a fundamental biological process which generates genetic diversity, affects fertility, and influences evolvability. Here we investigate the roles of sex, age, and breed in cattle recombination features, including recombination rate, location and crossover interference. Usin...

  18. Welfare in horse breeding

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, M. L. H.; Sandøe, P.

    2015-01-01

    Welfare problems related to the way horses are bred, whether by coitus or by the application of artificial reproduction techniques (ARTs), have been given no discrete consideration within the academic literature. This paper reviews the existing knowledge base about welfare issues in horse breeding and identifies areas in which data is lacking. We suggest that all methods of horse breeding are associated with potential welfare problems, but also that the judicious use of ARTs can sometimes help to address those problems. We discuss how negative welfare effects could be identified and limited and how positive welfare effects associated with breeding might be maximised. Further studies are needed to establish an evidence base about how stressful or painful various breeding procedures are for the animals involved, and what the lifetime welfare implications of ARTs are for future animal generations. PMID:25908746

  19. Welfare in horse breeding.

    PubMed

    Campbell, M L H; Sandøe, P

    2015-04-25

    Welfare problems related to the way horses are bred, whether by coitus or by the application of artificial reproduction techniques (ARTs), have been given no discrete consideration within the academic literature. This paper reviews the existing knowledge base about welfare issues in horse breeding and identifies areas in which data is lacking. We suggest that all methods of horse breeding are associated with potential welfare problems, but also that the judicious use of ARTs can sometimes help to address those problems. We discuss how negative welfare effects could be identified and limited and how positive welfare effects associated with breeding might be maximised. Further studies are needed to establish an evidence base about how stressful or painful various breeding procedures are for the animals involved, and what the lifetime welfare implications of ARTs are for future animal generations.

  20. A Stefan problem on an evolving surface

    PubMed Central

    Alphonse, Amal; Elliott, Charles M.

    2015-01-01

    We formulate a Stefan problem on an evolving hypersurface and study the well posedness of weak solutions given L1 data. To do this, we first develop function spaces and results to handle equations on evolving surfaces in order to give a natural treatment of the problem. Then, we consider the existence of solutions for data; this is done by regularization of the nonlinearity. The regularized problem is solved by a fixed point theorem and then uniform estimates are obtained in order to pass to the limit. By using a duality method, we show continuous dependence, which allows us to extend the results to L1 data. PMID:26261364

  1. Our evolving universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longair, Malcolm S.

    Our Evolving Universe is a lucid, non-technical and infectiously enthusiastic introduction to current astronomy and cosmology. Highly illustrated throughout with the latest colour images from the world's most advanced telescopes, it also provides a colourful view of our Universe. Malcolm Longair takes us on a breathtaking tour of the most dramatic recent results astronomers have on the birth of stars, the hunt for black holes and dark matter, on gravitational lensing and the latest tests of the Big Bang. He leads the reader right up to understand the key questions that future research in astronomy and cosmology must answer. A clear and comprehensive glossary of technical terms is also provided. For the general reader, student or professional wishing to understand the key questions today's astronomers and cosmologists are trying to answer, this is an invaluable and inspiring read.

  2. Challenges and opportunities in genetic improvement of local livestock breeds.

    PubMed

    Biscarini, Filippo; Nicolazzi, Ezequiel L; Stella, Alessandra; Boettcher, Paul J; Gandini, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    Sufficient genetic variation in livestock populations is necessary both for adaptation to future changes in climate and consumer demand, and for continual genetic improvement of economically important traits. Unfortunately, the current trend is for reduced genetic variation, both within and across breeds. The latter occurs primarily through the loss of small, local breeds. Inferior production is a key driver for loss of small breeds, as they are replaced by high-output international transboundary breeds. Selection to improve productivity of small local breeds is therefore critical for their long term survival. The objective of this paper is to review the technology options available for the genetic improvement of small local breeds and discuss their feasibility. Most technologies have been developed for the high-input breeds and consequently are more favorably applied in that context. Nevertheless, their application in local breeds is not precluded and can yield significant benefits, especially when multiple technologies are applied in close collaboration with farmers and breeders. Breeding strategies that require cooperation and centralized decision-making, such as optimal contribution selection, may in fact be more easily implemented in small breeds.

  3. Challenges and opportunities in genetic improvement of local livestock breeds

    PubMed Central

    Biscarini, Filippo; Nicolazzi, Ezequiel L.; Stella, Alessandra; Boettcher, Paul J.; Gandini, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    Sufficient genetic variation in livestock populations is necessary both for adaptation to future changes in climate and consumer demand, and for continual genetic improvement of economically important traits. Unfortunately, the current trend is for reduced genetic variation, both within and across breeds. The latter occurs primarily through the loss of small, local breeds. Inferior production is a key driver for loss of small breeds, as they are replaced by high-output international transboundary breeds. Selection to improve productivity of small local breeds is therefore critical for their long term survival. The objective of this paper is to review the technology options available for the genetic improvement of small local breeds and discuss their feasibility. Most technologies have been developed for the high-input breeds and consequently are more favorably applied in that context. Nevertheless, their application in local breeds is not precluded and can yield significant benefits, especially when multiple technologies are applied in close collaboration with farmers and breeders. Breeding strategies that require cooperation and centralized decision-making, such as optimal contribution selection, may in fact be more easily implemented in small breeds. PMID:25763010

  4. Quantifying evolvability in small biological networks

    SciTech Connect

    Nemenman, Ilya; Mugler, Andrew; Ziv, Etay; Wiggins, Chris H

    2008-01-01

    The authors introduce a quantitative measure of the capacity of a small biological network to evolve. The measure is applied to a stochastic description of the experimental setup of Guet et al. (Science 2002, 296, pp. 1466), treating chemical inducers as functional inputs to biochemical networks and the expression of a reporter gene as the functional output. The authors take an information-theoretic approach, allowing the system to set parameters that optimise signal processing ability, thus enumerating each network's highest-fidelity functions. All networks studied are highly evolvable by the measure, meaning that change in function has little dependence on change in parameters. Moreover, each network's functions are connected by paths in the parameter space along which information is not significantly lowered, meaning a network may continuously change its functionality without completely losing it along the way. This property further underscores the evolvability of the networks.

  5. Simulation of charge breeding of rubidium using Monte Carlo charge breeding code and generalized ECRIS model

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, L.; Cluggish, B.; Kim, J. S.; Pardo, R.; Vondrasek, R.

    2010-02-15

    A Monte Carlo charge breeding code (MCBC) is being developed by FAR-TECH, Inc. to model the capture and charge breeding of 1+ ion beam in an electron cyclotron resonance ion source (ECRIS) device. The ECRIS plasma is simulated using the generalized ECRIS model which has two choices of boundary settings, free boundary condition and Bohm condition. The charge state distribution of the extracted beam ions is calculated by solving the steady state ion continuity equations where the profiles of the captured ions are used as source terms. MCBC simulations of the charge breeding of Rb+ showed good agreement with recent charge breeding experiments at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). MCBC correctly predicted the peak of highly charged ion state outputs under free boundary condition and similar charge state distribution width but a lower peak charge state under the Bohm condition. The comparisons between the simulation results and ANL experimental measurements are presented and discussed.

  6. Evolving synergetic interactions.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bin; Arranz, Jordi; Du, Jinming; Zhou, Da; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Cooperators forgo their own interests to benefit others. This reduces their fitness and thus cooperators are not likely to spread based on natural selection. Nonetheless, cooperation is widespread on every level of biological organization ranging from bacterial communities to human society. Mathematical models can help to explain under which circumstances cooperation evolves. Evolutionary game theory is a powerful mathematical tool to depict the interactions between cooperators and defectors. Classical models typically involve either pairwise interactions between individuals or a linear superposition of these interactions. For interactions within groups, however, synergetic effects may arise: their outcome is not just the sum of its parts. This is because the payoffs via a single group interaction can be different from the sum of any collection of two-player interactions. Assuming that all interactions start from pairs, how can such synergetic multiplayer games emerge from simpler pairwise interactions? Here, we present a mathematical model that captures the transition from pairwise interactions to synergetic multiplayer ones. We assume that different social groups have different breaking rates. We show that non-uniform breaking rates do foster the emergence of synergy, even though individuals always interact in pairs. Our work sheds new light on the mechanisms underlying such synergetic interactions. PMID:27466437

  7. Evolving endoscopic surgery.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Paulo; Faintuch, Joel

    2014-06-01

    Since the days of Albukasim in medieval Spain, natural orifices have been regarded not only as a rather repugnant source of bodily odors, fluids and excreta, but also as a convenient invitation to explore and treat the inner passages of the organism. However, surgical ingenuity needed to be matched by appropriate tools and devices. Lack of technologically advanced instrumentation was a strong deterrent during almost a millennium until recent decades when a quantum jump materialized. Endoscopic surgery is currently a vibrant and growing subspecialty, which successfully handles millions of patients every year. Additional opportunities lie ahead which might benefit millions more, however, requiring even more sophisticated apparatuses, particularly in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and tissue repair (surgical suturing). This is a particularly exciting and worthwhile challenge, namely of larger and safer endoscopic interventions, followed by seamless and scarless recovery. In synthesis, the future is widely open for those who use together intelligence and creativity to develop new prototypes, new accessories and new techniques. Yet there are many challenges in the path of endoscopic surgery. In this new era of robotic endoscopy, one will likely need a virtual simulator to train and assess the performance of younger doctors. More evidence will be essential in multiple evolving fields, particularly to elucidate whether more ambitious and complex pathways, such as intrathoracic and intraperitoneal surgery via natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), are superior or not to conventional techniques.

  8. Communicability across evolving networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grindrod, Peter; Parsons, Mark C.; Higham, Desmond J.; Estrada, Ernesto

    2011-04-01

    Many natural and technological applications generate time-ordered sequences of networks, defined over a fixed set of nodes; for example, time-stamped information about “who phoned who” or “who came into contact with who” arise naturally in studies of communication and the spread of disease. Concepts and algorithms for static networks do not immediately carry through to this dynamic setting. For example, suppose A and B interact in the morning, and then B and C interact in the afternoon. Information, or disease, may then pass from A to C, but not vice versa. This subtlety is lost if we simply summarize using the daily aggregate network given by the chain A-B-C. However, using a natural definition of a walk on an evolving network, we show that classic centrality measures from the static setting can be extended in a computationally convenient manner. In particular, communicability indices can be computed to summarize the ability of each node to broadcast and receive information. The computations involve basic operations in linear algebra, and the asymmetry caused by time’s arrow is captured naturally through the noncommutativity of matrix-matrix multiplication. Illustrative examples are given for both synthetic and real-world communication data sets. We also discuss the use of the new centrality measures for real-time monitoring and prediction.

  9. Evolving Concepts of Asthma.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Marc; Ray, Anuradha; Wenzel, Sally E

    2015-09-15

    Our understanding of asthma has evolved over time from a singular disease to a complex of various phenotypes, with varied natural histories, physiologies, and responses to treatment. Early therapies treated most patients with asthma similarly, with bronchodilators and corticosteroids, but these therapies had varying degrees of success. Similarly, despite initial studies that identified an underlying type 2 inflammation in the airways of patients with asthma, biologic therapies targeted toward these type 2 pathways were unsuccessful in all patients. These observations led to increased interest in phenotyping asthma. Clinical approaches, both biased and later unbiased/statistical approaches to large asthma patient cohorts, identified a variety of patient characteristics, but they also consistently identified the importance of age of onset of disease and the presence of eosinophils in determining clinically relevant phenotypes. These paralleled molecular approaches to phenotyping that developed an understanding that not all patients share a type 2 inflammatory pattern. Using biomarkers to select patients with type 2 inflammation, repeated trials of biologics directed toward type 2 cytokine pathways saw newfound success, confirming the importance of phenotyping in asthma. Further research is needed to clarify additional clinical and molecular phenotypes, validate predictive biomarkers, and identify new areas for possible interventions.

  10. Stochastically evolving networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Derek Y.; Hughes, Barry D.; Leong, Alex S.; Reed, William J.

    2003-12-01

    We discuss a class of models for the evolution of networks in which new nodes are recruited into the network at random times, and links between existing nodes that are not yet directly connected may also form at random times. The class contains both models that produce “small-world” networks and less tightly linked models. We produce both trees, appropriate in certain biological applications, and networks in which closed loops can appear, which model communication networks and networks of human sexual interactions. One of our models is closely related to random recursive trees, and some exact results known in that context can be exploited. The other models are more subtle and difficult to analyze. Our analysis includes a number of exact results for moments, correlations, and distributions of coordination number and network size. We report simulations and also discuss some mean-field approximations. If the system has evolved for a long time and the state of a random node (which thus has a random age) is observed, power-law distributions for properties of the system arise in some of these models.

  11. Evolving endoscopic surgery.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Paulo; Faintuch, Joel

    2014-06-01

    Since the days of Albukasim in medieval Spain, natural orifices have been regarded not only as a rather repugnant source of bodily odors, fluids and excreta, but also as a convenient invitation to explore and treat the inner passages of the organism. However, surgical ingenuity needed to be matched by appropriate tools and devices. Lack of technologically advanced instrumentation was a strong deterrent during almost a millennium until recent decades when a quantum jump materialized. Endoscopic surgery is currently a vibrant and growing subspecialty, which successfully handles millions of patients every year. Additional opportunities lie ahead which might benefit millions more, however, requiring even more sophisticated apparatuses, particularly in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and tissue repair (surgical suturing). This is a particularly exciting and worthwhile challenge, namely of larger and safer endoscopic interventions, followed by seamless and scarless recovery. In synthesis, the future is widely open for those who use together intelligence and creativity to develop new prototypes, new accessories and new techniques. Yet there are many challenges in the path of endoscopic surgery. In this new era of robotic endoscopy, one will likely need a virtual simulator to train and assess the performance of younger doctors. More evidence will be essential in multiple evolving fields, particularly to elucidate whether more ambitious and complex pathways, such as intrathoracic and intraperitoneal surgery via natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), are superior or not to conventional techniques. PMID:24628672

  12. Evolving synergetic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Bin; Arranz, Jordi; Du, Jinming; Zhou, Da; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-01-01

    Cooperators forgo their own interests to benefit others. This reduces their fitness and thus cooperators are not likely to spread based on natural selection. Nonetheless, cooperation is widespread on every level of biological organization ranging from bacterial communities to human society. Mathematical models can help to explain under which circumstances cooperation evolves. Evolutionary game theory is a powerful mathematical tool to depict the interactions between cooperators and defectors. Classical models typically involve either pairwise interactions between individuals or a linear superposition of these interactions. For interactions within groups, however, synergetic effects may arise: their outcome is not just the sum of its parts. This is because the payoffs via a single group interaction can be different from the sum of any collection of two-player interactions. Assuming that all interactions start from pairs, how can such synergetic multiplayer games emerge from simpler pairwise interactions? Here, we present a mathematical model that captures the transition from pairwise interactions to synergetic multiplayer ones. We assume that different social groups have different breaking rates. We show that non-uniform breaking rates do foster the emergence of synergy, even though individuals always interact in pairs. Our work sheds new light on the mechanisms underlying such synergetic interactions. PMID:27466437

  13. Advances in Japanese pear breeding in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Toshihiro

    2016-01-01

    The Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai) is one of the most widely grown fruit trees in Japan, and it has been used throughout Japan’s history. The commercial production of pears increased rapidly with the successive discoveries of the chance seedling cultivars ‘Chojuro’ and ‘Nijisseiki’ around 1890, and the development of new cultivars has continued since 1915. The late-maturing, leading cultivars ‘Niitaka’ and ‘Shinko’ were released during the initial breeding stage. Furthermore, systematic breeding by the Horticultural Research Station (currently, NARO Institute of Fruit Tree Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NIFTS)) began in 1935, which mainly aimed to improve fruit quality by focusing on flesh texture and black spot disease resistance. To date, 22 cultivars have been released, including ‘Kosui’, ‘Hosui’, and ‘Akizuki’, which are current leading cultivars from the breeding program. Four induced mutant cultivars induced by gamma irradiation, which exhibit some resistance to black spot disease, were released from the Institute of Radiation Breeding. Among these cultivars, ‘Gold Nijisseiki’ has become a leading cultivar. Moreover, ‘Nansui’ from the Nagano prefectural institute breeding program was released, and it has also become a leading cultivar. Current breeding objectives at NIFTS mainly combine superior fruit quality with traits related to labor and cost reduction, multiple disease resistance, or self-compatibility. Regarding future breeding, marker-assisted selection for each trait, QTL analyses, genome-wide association studies, and genomic selection analyses are currently in progress. PMID:27069390

  14. Genomics and plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Aljanabi, S

    2001-01-01

    Much of our most basic understanding of genetics has its roots in plant genetics and crop breeding. The study of plants has led to important insights into highly conserved biological process and a wealth of knowledge about development. Agriculture is now well positioned to take its share benefit from genomics. The primary sequences of most plant genes will be determined over the next few years. Informatics and functional genomics will help identify those genes that can be best utilized to crop production and quality through genetic engineering and plant breeding. Recent developments in plant genomics are reviewed.

  15. Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Witcombe, J R; Hollington, P A; Howarth, C J; Reader, S; Steele, K A

    2008-02-27

    Using cereal crops as examples, we review the breeding for tolerance to the abiotic stresses of low nitrogen, drought, salinity and aluminium toxicity. All are already important abiotic stress factors that cause large and widespread yield reductions. Drought will increase in importance with climate change, the area of irrigated land that is salinized continues to increase, and the cost of inorganic N is set to rise. There is good potential for directly breeding for adaptation to low N while retaining an ability to respond to high N conditions. Breeding for drought and salinity tolerance have proven to be difficult, and the complex mechanisms of tolerance are reviewed. Marker-assisted selection for component traits of drought in rice and pearl millet and salinity tolerance in wheat has produced some positive results and the pyramiding of stable quantitative trait locuses controlling component traits may provide a solution. New genomic technologies promise to make progress for breeding tolerance to these two stresses through a more fundamental understanding of underlying processes and identification of the genes responsible. In wheat, there is a great potential of breeding genetic resistance for salinity and aluminium tolerance through the contributions of wild relatives.

  16. Hop Cultivars and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pest management decision making in hops varies among cultivars. Historically, the primary objective of hop breeding programs has been to increase the yield or characteristics associated with either bittering (high alpha-acids) or aroma (unique volatile oil profiles) cultivars. Other factors consid...

  17. Lettuce and spinach breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lettuce and spinach production is beset by numerous biotic an abiotic challenges. This report to the California Leafy Greens Research Program annual meeting provides an update by the ‘Genetic Enhancement of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species’ project at Salinas on the genetics and breeding...

  18. Evolving Indications for Tips.

    PubMed

    Smith, Mitchell; Durham, Janette

    2016-03-01

    Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation is a well-established therapy for refractory variceal bleeding and refractory ascites in patients who do not tolerate repeated large volume paracentesis. Experience and technical improvements including covered stents have led to improved TIPS outcomes that have encouraged an expanded application. Evidence for other less frequent indications continues to accumulate, including the indications of primary prophylaxis in patients with high-risk acute variceal bleeding, gastric and ectopic variceal bleeding, primary treatment of medically refractory ascites, recurrent refractory ascites following liver transplantation, hepatic hydrothorax, hepatorenal syndrome, Budd-Chiari syndrome, and portal vein thrombosis. Treatment of patients with high-risk acute variceal bleeding with early TIPS and using transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts as a primary therapy rather than large volume paracentesis for refractory ascites would likely be the 2 circumstances that permit expansion in the frequency of TIPS procedures. The remaining populations discussed above are relatively rare. PMID:26997087

  19. Diversity and Affirmative Action: Evolving Principles and Continuing Legal Battles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, Scott R.

    This chapter reviews the legal standards governing affirmative action in higher education, examining the diversity rationale and contrasting the cases of Hopwood v. Texas and Wittmer v. Peters, which were decided in 1996. It discusses: the legal standard governing affirmative action in higher education; the remedial interest in overcoming the…

  20. Disgust: Evolved Function and Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tybur, Joshua M.; Lieberman, Debra; Kurzban, Robert; DeScioli, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and that of information processing. Although there is…

  1. Evolving virtual creatures and catapults.

    PubMed

    Chaumont, Nicolas; Egli, Richard; Adami, Christoph

    2007-01-01

    We present a system that can evolve the morphology and the controller of virtual walking and block-throwing creatures (catapults) using a genetic algorithm. The system is based on Sims' work, implemented as a flexible platform with an off-the-shelf dynamics engine. Experiments aimed at evolving Sims-type walkers resulted in the emergence of various realistic gaits while using fairly simple objective functions. Due to the flexibility of the system, drastically different morphologies and functions evolved with only minor modifications to the system and objective function. For example, various throwing techniques evolved when selecting for catapults that propel a block as far as possible. Among the strategies and morphologies evolved, we find the drop-kick strategy, as well as the systematic invention of the principle behind the wheel, when allowing mutations to the projectile. PMID:17355189

  2. Evolving virtual creatures and catapults.

    PubMed

    Chaumont, Nicolas; Egli, Richard; Adami, Christoph

    2007-01-01

    We present a system that can evolve the morphology and the controller of virtual walking and block-throwing creatures (catapults) using a genetic algorithm. The system is based on Sims' work, implemented as a flexible platform with an off-the-shelf dynamics engine. Experiments aimed at evolving Sims-type walkers resulted in the emergence of various realistic gaits while using fairly simple objective functions. Due to the flexibility of the system, drastically different morphologies and functions evolved with only minor modifications to the system and objective function. For example, various throwing techniques evolved when selecting for catapults that propel a block as far as possible. Among the strategies and morphologies evolved, we find the drop-kick strategy, as well as the systematic invention of the principle behind the wheel, when allowing mutations to the projectile.

  3. Plant breeding on the front: imperialism, war, and exploitation.

    PubMed

    Elina, Olga; Heim, Susanne; Roll-Hansen, Nils

    2005-01-01

    This paper examines the development of plant-breeding science in the context of the booming genetic research and autarky policy of the 1930s as well as during World War II in National Socialist-occupied Europe. Soviet scientists, especially Nikolai Vavilov and his VIR institute, had a leading position in the international plant-breeding science of the 1920s. During World War II, German scientists, namely experts from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Plant Breeding, usurped Soviet institutes and valuable seed collections. In contrast, plant-breeding research in occupied Scandinavia continued with relatively little disturbance. The paper compares behavior of German, Soviet, and Norwegian plant-breeding scientists under the Nazi regime. PMID:20503762

  4. Genetic comparison of breeding schemes based on semen importation and local breeding schemes: framework and application to Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Vargas, B; van Arendonk, J A M

    2004-05-01

    Local breeding schemes for Holstein cattle of Costa Rica were compared with the current practice based on continuous semen importation (SI) by deterministic simulation. Comparison was made on the basis of genetic response and correlation between breeding goals. A local breeding goal was defined on the basis of prevailing production circumstances and compared against a typical breeding goal for an exporting country. Differences in genetic response were <3%, and the correlation between breeding goals was 0.99. Therefore, difference between breeding objectives proved negligible. For the evaluation of genetic response, the current scheme based on SI was evaluated against a progeny testing (PT) scheme and a closed nucleus (CN) breeding scheme, both local. Selection intensities and accuracy of selection were defined according to current population size and reproduction efficiency parameters. When genotype x environment interaction (G x E) was ignored, SI was the strategy with the highest genetic response: 5.0% above the CN breeding scheme and 33.2% above PT. A correlation between breeding values in both countries lower than one was assumed to assess the effect of G x E. This resulted in permanent effects on the relative efficiencies of breeding strategies because of the reduction in the rate of genetic response when SI was used. When the genetic correlation was assumed equal to 0.75, the genetic response achieved with SI was reduced at the same level as local PT. When an initial difference in average genetic merit of the populations was assumed, this only had a temporal effect on the relative ranking of strategies, which is reverted after some years of selection because the rate of change in genetic responses remains unchanged. Given that the actual levels of genetic correlation between countries may be around 0.60, it was concluded that a local breeding scheme based on a nucleus herd could provide better results than the current strategy based on SI. PMID:15290999

  5. Survival of the fastest: Evolving wings for flapping flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramananarivo, Sophie; Mitchel, Thomas; Ristroph, Leif

    2014-11-01

    To optimize flapping flight with regard to wing shape, we use an evolutionary or genetic algorithm to improve the forward speed of 3d-printed wings or hydrofoils that heave up-and-down and self-propel within water. In this scheme, ``genes'' are mathematical parameters specifying wing shape, and ``breeding'' involves the merging and mutation of genes from two parent wings to form a child. A wing's swimming speed is its ``fitness'', which dictates the likelihood of breeding and thus passing on its genes to the next generation. We find that this iterative process leads to marked improvements in relatively few generations, and several distinct shape features are shared among the fastest wings. We also investigate the favorable flow structures produced by these elite swimmers and compare their shape and performance to biologically evolved wings, fins, tails, and flippers.

  6. Spacetimes containing slowly evolving horizons

    SciTech Connect

    Kavanagh, William; Booth, Ivan

    2006-08-15

    Slowly evolving horizons are trapping horizons that are ''almost'' isolated horizons. This paper reviews their definition and discusses several spacetimes containing such structures. These include certain Vaidya and Tolman-Bondi solutions as well as (perturbatively) tidally distorted black holes. Taking into account the mass scales and orders of magnitude that arise in these calculations, we conjecture that slowly evolving horizons are the norm rather than the exception in astrophysical processes that involve stellar-scale black holes.

  7. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    PubMed

    Graves, Christopher J; Ros, Vera I D; Stevenson, Brian; Sniegowski, Paul D; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios) and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish chronic infections.

  8. Biotechnology and apple breeding in Japan.

    PubMed

    Igarashi, Megumi; Hatsuyama, Yoshimichi; Harada, Takeo; Fukasawa-Akada, Tomoko

    2016-01-01

    Apple is a fruit crop of significant economic importance, and breeders world wide continue to develop novel cultivars with improved characteristics. The lengthy juvenile period and the large field space required to grow apple populations have imposed major limitations on breeding. Various molecular biological techniques have been employed to make apple breeding easier. Transgenic technology has facilitated the development of apples with resistance to fungal or bacterial diseases, improved fruit quality, or root stocks with better rooting or dwarfing ability. DNA markers for disease resistance (scab, powdery mildew, fire-blight, Alternaria blotch) and fruit skin color have also been developed, and marker-assisted selection (MAS) has been employed in breeding programs. In the last decade, genomic sequences and chromosome maps of various cultivars have become available, allowing the development of large SNP arrays, enabling efficient QTL mapping and genomic selection (GS). In recent years, new technologies for genetic improvement, such as trans-grafting, virus vectors, and genome-editing, have emerged. Using these techniques, no foreign genes are present in the final product, and some of them show considerable promise for application to apple breeding. PMID:27069388

  9. Biotechnology and apple breeding in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Igarashi, Megumi; Hatsuyama, Yoshimichi; Harada, Takeo; Fukasawa-Akada, Tomoko

    2016-01-01

    Apple is a fruit crop of significant economic importance, and breeders world wide continue to develop novel cultivars with improved characteristics. The lengthy juvenile period and the large field space required to grow apple populations have imposed major limitations on breeding. Various molecular biological techniques have been employed to make apple breeding easier. Transgenic technology has facilitated the development of apples with resistance to fungal or bacterial diseases, improved fruit quality, or root stocks with better rooting or dwarfing ability. DNA markers for disease resistance (scab, powdery mildew, fire-blight, Alternaria blotch) and fruit skin color have also been developed, and marker-assisted selection (MAS) has been employed in breeding programs. In the last decade, genomic sequences and chromosome maps of various cultivars have become available, allowing the development of large SNP arrays, enabling efficient QTL mapping and genomic selection (GS). In recent years, new technologies for genetic improvement, such as trans-grafting, virus vectors, and genome-editing, have emerged. Using these techniques, no foreign genes are present in the final product, and some of them show considerable promise for application to apple breeding. PMID:27069388

  10. Reverse breeding: a novel breeding approach based on engineered meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Dirks, Rob; van Dun, Kees; de Snoo, C Bastiaan; van den Berg, Mark; Lelivelt, Cilia L C; Voermans, William; Woudenberg, Leo; de Wit, Jack P C; Reinink, Kees; Schut, Johan W; van der Zeeuw, Eveline; Vogelaar, Aat; Freymark, Gerald; Gutteling, Evert W; Keppel, Marina N; van Drongelen, Paul; Kieny, Matthieu; Ellul, Philippe; Touraev, Alisher; Ma, Hong; de Jong, Hans; Wijnker, Erik

    2009-01-01

    Reverse breeding (RB) is a novel plant breeding technique designed to directly produce parental lines for any heterozygous plant, one of the most sought after goals in plant breeding. RB generates perfectly complementing homozygous parental lines through engineered meiosis. The method is based on reducing genetic recombination in the selected heterozygote by eliminating meiotic crossing over. Male or female spores obtained from such plants contain combinations of non-recombinant parental chromosomes which can be cultured in vitro to generate homozygous doubled haploid plants (DHs). From these DHs, complementary parents can be selected and used to reconstitute the heterozygote in perpetuity. Since the fixation of unknown heterozygous genotypes is impossible in traditional plant breeding, RB could fundamentally change future plant breeding. In this review, we discuss various other applications of RB, including breeding per chromosome. PMID:19811618

  11. The evolution of intermittent breeding.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Allison K; Levin, Simon A

    2013-03-01

    A central issue in life history theory is how organisms trade off current and future reproduction. A variety of organisms exhibit intermittent breeding, meaning sexually mature adults will skip breeding opportunities between reproduction attempts. It's thought that intermittent breeding occurs when reproduction incurs an extra cost in terms of survival, energy, or recovery time. We have developed a matrix population model for intermittent breeding, and use adaptive dynamics to determine under what conditions individuals should breed at every opportunity, and under what conditions they should skip some breeding opportunities (and if so, how many). We also examine the effect of environmental stochasticity on breeding behavior. We find that the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) for breeding behavior depends on an individual's expected growth and mortality, and that the conditions for skipped breeding depend on the type of reproductive cost incurred (survival, energy, recovery time). In constant environments there is always a pure ESS, however environmental stochasticity and deterministic population fluctuations can both select for a mixed ESS. Finally, we compare our model results to patterns of intermittent breeding in species from a range of taxonomic groups.

  12. Robustness to Faults Promotes Evolvability: Insights from Evolving Digital Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Nolfi, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate how the need to cope with operational faults enables evolving circuits to find more fit solutions. The analysis of the results obtained in different experimental conditions indicates that, in absence of faults, evolution tends to select circuits that are small and have low phenotypic variability and evolvability. The need to face operation faults, instead, drives evolution toward the selection of larger circuits that are truly robust with respect to genetic variations and that have a greater level of phenotypic variability and evolvability. Overall our results indicate that the need to cope with operation faults leads to the selection of circuits that have a greater probability to generate better circuits as a result of genetic variation with respect to a control condition in which circuits are not subjected to faults. PMID:27409589

  13. Materials for breeding blankets

    SciTech Connect

    Mattas, R.F.; Billone, M.C.

    1995-09-01

    There are several candidate concepts for tritium breeding blankets that make use of a number of special materials. These materials can be classified as Primary Blanket Materials, which have the greatest influence in determining the overall design and performance, and Secondary Blanket Materials, which have key functions in the operation of the blanket but are less important in establishing the overall design and performance. The issues associated with the blanket materials are specified and several examples of materials performance are given. Critical data needs are identified.

  14. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    PubMed

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology.

  15. Evolving Black Holes with Wavy Initial Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Bernard; Tichy, Wolfgang; Zlochower, Yosef; Campanelli, Manuela; Whiting, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    In Kelly et al. [Phys. Rev. D v. 76, 024008 (2007)], we presented new binary black-hole initial data adapted to puncture evolutions in numerical relativity. This data satisfies the constraint equations to 2.5 post-Newtonian order, and contains a transverse-traceless ``wavy'' metric contribution, violating the standard assumption of conformal flatness. We report on progress in evolving this data with a modern moving-puncture implementation of the BSSN equations in several numerical codes. We will discuss the effect of the new metric terms on junk radiation and continuity of physical radiation extracted.

  16. Mobile computing acceptance grows as applications evolve.

    PubMed

    Porn, Louis M; Patrick, Kelly

    2002-01-01

    Handheld devices are becoming more cost-effective to own, and their use in healthcare environments is increasing. Handheld devices currently are being used for e-prescribing, charge capture, and accessing daily schedules and reference tools. Future applications may include education on medications, dictation, order entry, and test-results reporting. Selecting the right handheld device requires careful analysis of current and future applications, as well as vendor expertise. It is important to recognize the technology will continue to evolve over the next three years. PMID:11806321

  17. Mobile computing acceptance grows as applications evolve.

    PubMed

    Porn, Louis M; Patrick, Kelly

    2002-01-01

    Handheld devices are becoming more cost-effective to own, and their use in healthcare environments is increasing. Handheld devices currently are being used for e-prescribing, charge capture, and accessing daily schedules and reference tools. Future applications may include education on medications, dictation, order entry, and test-results reporting. Selecting the right handheld device requires careful analysis of current and future applications, as well as vendor expertise. It is important to recognize the technology will continue to evolve over the next three years.

  18. Evolving role of pharmaceutical physicians in the industry: Indian perspective

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Anant; Rajadhyaksha, Viraj

    2012-01-01

    The Indian pharmaceutical industry, like any other industry, has undergone significant change in the last decade. The role of a Medical advisor has always been of paramount importance in the pharmaceutical companies in India. On account of the evolving medical science and the competitive environment, the medical advisor's role is also increasingly becoming critical. In India, with changes in regulatory rules, safety surveillance, and concept of medical liaisons, the role of the medical advisor is evolving continuously and is further likely to evolve in the coming years in important areas like health economics, public private partnerships, and strategic planning. PMID:22347701

  19. RosBREED: Enabling Marker-Assisted Breeding In Rosaceae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    RosBREED will create a national, dynamic, sustained effort in research, infrastructure establishment, training, and extension for applying marker-assisted breeding (MAB) to deliver improved plant materials more efficiently and rapidly. The Rosaceae family (including apple, peach, sweet and tart cher...

  20. To breed, or not to breed? Predation risk induces breeding suppression in common voles.

    PubMed

    Jochym, Mateusz; Halle, Stefan

    2012-12-01

    Breeding suppression hypothesis (BSH) predicts that, in several vole species, females will suppress breeding in response to high risk of mustelid predation; compared to breeding females, suppressing females would gain higher chances of survival. Seminal evidence for BSH was obtained in the laboratory, but attempts to replicate breeding suppression under field conditions were less conclusive. We tested whether breeding suppression occurs in common voles (Microtus arvalis), and how population density and predation risk combined affect voles' reproductive activity. We found that, in contrast to males, female common voles suppress reproductive activity when faced with high predation risk. Population size was not reduced despite breeding suppression. A model of the interaction between predation risk and population density revealed that predator-induced breeding suppression depends on the density of conspecifics. We concluded that breeding suppression is a viable adaptation only at low vole densities, when per capita predation risk is high. Finally, we identified the key issues of experimental design required for the consistency of future studies on breeding suppression. PMID:22700062

  1. Temporal feeding pattern may influence reproduction efficiency, the example of breeding mares.

    PubMed

    Benhajali, Haifa; Ezzaouia, Mohammed; Lunel, Christophe; Charfi, Faouzia; Hausberger, Martine

    2013-01-01

    Discomfort in farm animals may be induced by inappropriate types or timing of food supplies. Thus, time restriction of meals and lack of roughage have been shown to be one source of emergence of oral stereotypies and abnormal behaviour in horses which have evolved to eat high-fibre diets in small amounts over long periods of time. This feeding pattern is often altered in domestic environment where horses are often fed low fibre meals that can be rapidly consumed. This study aimed at determining the effect of the temporal pattern of feeding on reproductive efficiency of breeding mares, One hundred Arab breeding mares were divided into two groups that differed only in the temporal pattern of roughage availability: only at night for the standard feeding pattern group (SFP mares), night and day for the "continuous feeding" group (CF mares). The total amount of roughage provided was the same as the CF mares received half of the hay during the day while in paddock (haynets). Mares were tested for oestrus detection by teasing with one stallion and were then examined clinically by rectal palpations and ultrasound before being mated naturally or inseminated by fresh or frozen semen. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyse data. The treatment affected significantly the reproductive efficiency of the mares with fewer oestrus abnormalities (p = 0.0002) and more fertility (p = 0.024) in CF mares (conception rate = 81% versus 55% in SFP mares). Ensuring semi-continous feeding by providing roughage may be a way of fulfilling the basic physiological needs of the horses' digestive system, reducing stress and associated inhibitors of reproduction. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence of an impact of temporal feeding patterns on reproductive success in a Mammal. Temporal patterns of feeding may be a major and underestimated factor in breeding.

  2. Radiation-induced mutations and plant breeding

    SciTech Connect

    Naqvi, S.H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Ionizing radiation could cause genetic changes in an organism and could modify gene linkages. The induction of mutation through radiation is random and the probability of getting the desired genetic change is low but can be increased by manipulating different parameters such as dose rate, physical conditions under which the material has been irradiated, etc. Induced mutations have been used as a supplement to conventional plant breeding, particularly for creating genetic variability for specific characters such as improved plant structure, pest and disease resistance, and desired changes in maturity period; more than 200 varieties of crop plants have been developed by this technique. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has used this technique fruitfully to evolve better germplasm in cotton, rice, chickpea, wheat and mungbean; some of the mutants have become popular commercial varieties. This paper describes some uses of radiation induced mutations and the results achieved in Pakistan so far.

  3. Signing Apes and Evolving Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokoe, William C.

    Linguistics retains from its antecedents, philology and the study of sacred writings, some of their apologetic and theological bias. Thus it has not been able to face squarely the question how linguistic function may have evolved from animal communication. Chimpanzees' use of signs from American Sign Language forces re-examination of language…

  4. Evolving Sensitivity Balances Boolean Networks

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jamie X.; Turner, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the sensitivity of Boolean Networks (BNs) to mutations. We are interested in Boolean Networks as a model of Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs). We adopt Ribeiro and Kauffman’s Ergodic Set and use it to study the long term dynamics of a BN. We define the sensitivity of a BN to be the mean change in its Ergodic Set structure under all possible loss of interaction mutations. Insilico experiments were used to selectively evolve BNs for sensitivity to losing interactions. We find that maximum sensitivity was often achievable and resulted in the BNs becoming topologically balanced, i.e. they evolve towards network structures in which they have a similar number of inhibitory and excitatory interactions. In terms of the dynamics, the dominant sensitivity strategy that evolved was to build BNs with Ergodic Sets dominated by a single long limit cycle which is easily destabilised by mutations. We discuss the relevance of our findings in the context of Stem Cell Differentiation and propose a relationship between pluripotent stem cells and our evolved sensitive networks. PMID:22586459

  5. Thermal and evolved gas analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, M. S.; Boynton, W. V.; James, R. L.; Verts, W. T.; Bailey, S. H.; Hamara, D. K.

    1998-01-01

    The Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) instrument will perform calorimetry and evolved gas analysis on soil samples collected from the Martian surface. TEGA is one of three instruments, along with a robotic arm, that form the Mars Volatile and Climate Survey (MVACS) payload. The other instruments are a stereo surface imager, built by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona and a meteorological station, built by JPL. The MVACS lander will investigate a Martian landing site at approximately 70 deg south latitude. Launch will take place from Kennedy Space Center in January, 1999. The TEGA project started in February, 1996. In the intervening 24 months, a flight instrument concept has been designed, prototyped, built as an engineering model and flight model, and tested. The instrument performs laboratory-quality differential-scanning calorimetry (DSC) over the temperature range of Mars ambient to 1400K. Low-temperature volatiles (water and carbon dioxide ices) and the carbonates will be analyzed in this temperature range. Carbonates melt and evolve carbon dioxide at temperatures above 600 C. Evolved oxygen (down to a concentration of 1 ppm) is detected, and C02 and water vapor and the isotopic variations of C02 and water vapor are detected and their concentrations measured. The isotopic composition provides important tests of the theory of solar system formation.

  6. Slippery Texts and Evolving Literacies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mackey, Margaret

    2007-01-01

    The idea of "slippery texts" provides a useful descriptor for materials that mutate and evolve across different media. Eight adult gamers, encountering the slippery text "American McGee's Alice," demonstrate a variety of ways in which players attempt to manage their attention as they encounter a new text with many resonances. The range of their…

  7. Breeding without Mendelism: theory and practice of dairy cattle breeding in the Netherlands 1900-1950.

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Bert

    2008-01-01

    In the 1940s and 1950s, Dutch scientists became increasingly critical of the practices of commercial dairy cattle breeders. Milk yields had hardly increased for decades, and the scientists believed this to be due to the fact that breeders still judged the hereditary potential of their animals on the basis of outward characteristics. An objective verdict on the qualities of breeding stock could only be obtained by progeny testing, the scientists contended: the best animals were those that produced the most productive offspring. Some scientists had been making this claim since the beginning of the twentieth century. Why was it that their advice was apparently not heeded by breeders for so long? And what were the methods and beliefs that guided their practices? In this paper I intend to answer these questions by analysing the practical realities of dairy farming and stock breeding in The Netherlands between 1900 and 1950. Breeders continued to employ traditional breeding methods that had proven their effectiveness since the late eighteenth century. Their methods consisted in inbreeding--breeding in 'bloodlines,' as they called it--and selection on the basis of pedigree, conformation and milk recording data. Their aims were 'purity' and 'uniformity' of type. Progeny testing was not practiced due to practical difficulties. Before World War II, scientists acknowledged that genetic theory was of little practical use to breeders of livestock. Still, hereditary theory was considered to be helpful to assess the value of the breeders' methods. For instance, striving for purity was deemed to be consistent with Mendelian theory. Yet the term purity had different connotations for scientists and practical workers. For the former, it referred to homozygosity; for the latter, it rather buttressed the constancy of a distinct commercial 'brand.' Until the 1940s, practical breeders and most scientists were agreed that selecting animals purely for production was ill-advised. Cows of

  8. Genetic distinctiveness of the Herdwick sheep breed and two other locally adapted hill breeds of the UK.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Dianna; Carson, Amanda; Isaac, Peter

    2014-01-01

    There is considerable interest in locally adapted breeds of livestock as reservoirs of genetic diversity that may provide important fitness traits for future use in agriculture. In marginal areas, these animals contribute to food security and extract value from land unsuitable for other systems of farming. In England, close to 50% of the national sheep flock is farmed on grassland designated as disadvantaged areas for agricultural production. Many of these areas are in the uplands, where some native breeds of sheep continue to be commercially farmed only in highly localised geographical regions to which they are adapted. This study focuses on three of these breeds, selected for their adaptation to near identical environments and their geographical concentration in regions close to one another. Our objective has been to use retrotyping, microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms to explore the origins of the breeds and whether, despite their similar adaptations and proximity, they are genetically distinctive. We find the three breeds each have a surprisingly different pattern of retrovirus insertions into their genomes compared with one another and with other UK breeds. Uniquely, there is a high incidence of the R0 retrotype in the Herdwick population, characteristic of a primitive genome found previously in very few breeds worldwide and none in the UK mainland. The Herdwick and Rough Fells carry two rare retroviral insertion events, common only in Texels, suggesting sheep populations in the northern uplands have a historical association with the original pin-tail sheep of Texel Island. Microsatellite data and analyses of SNPs associated with RXFP2 (horn traits) and PRLR (reproductive performance traits) also distinguished the three breeds. Significantly, an SNP linked to TMEM154, a locus controlling susceptibility to infection by Maedi-Visna, indicated that all three native hill breeds have a lower than average risk of infection to the lentivirus.

  9. EVOLVE historical and projected orbital debris test environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisko, P. H.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA/JSC orbital debris research effort within the Earth's low-altitude regime continues with the upgrade of the debris environment simulation model EVOLVE. Two main contributions to this new version will include a more streamlined structure (transparent to the analyst) and an updated, expanded set of launch/orbital insertion files. The new database includes such improvements as high fidelity launch times and orbital elements, dataderived area-to-mass ratios, and individual object dry mass and physical description. As an additional test of the new code, a version of the Anz-Meador [Adv. Space Res. (2004)] explosive fragmentation model is implemented and the resulting historical and projected LEO environments are compared to those of the US Space Surveillance Network (SSN) Catalog, ORDEM2000, and EVOLVE 4.1 (the current production version of the code) historical and projection periods EVOLVE test historical environments compare well with the catalog and ORDEM2000 environments over the 1-mm and larger size range. However, it should be noted that SRM slag is not included in EVOLVE at this time. Differences between the EVOLVE test and the EVOLVE 4.1 long-term projection environments are traced directly to the modified launch cycle and the chosen form of the Anz-Meador [Adv. Space Res. (2004)] breakup model of this EVOLVE test.

  10. Beef cattle breeding à la Jefferson.

    PubMed

    Hohenboken, W D

    1982-03-01

    ?Even more than most disciplines in the Animal Sciences, quantitative genetics is dependent upon models. Models, by definition, are abstractions of reality. Invariably they require simplifying assumptions, which should be but sometimes are not clearly specified. One thesis of this article, illustrated by examples, is that many of the assumptions upon which animal breeding theory and practice are based are not valid. Some proportion of research resources should be devoted to challenging or verifying those assumptions and following up those areas of enquiry suggested by the outcome of such research. A further thesis is that the selection of topics and priorities for animal breeding research should be a matter of choice by individual scientists and should not be determined by steering committees or directed by administrative fiat. Hopefully, the resultant mutation, cross-fertilization, assortment, recombination and selection of ideas that would result would bestow upon our discipline higher fitness from multiple-peak epistasis, and minimal danger of extinction (or petrification) from over-specialization. A final thesis is that true creativity by research scientists should be nurtured and rewarded and that work in traditional areas of breeding and quantitative genetics should be continued-but done better.

  11. Evolvable Systems for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohn, Jason; Crawford, James; Globus, Al; Hornby, Gregory; Kraus, William; Larchev, Gregory; Pryor, Anna; Srivastava, Deepak

    2003-01-01

    This article surveys the research of the Evolvable System Group at NASA Ames Research Center. Over the past few years, our group has developed the ability to use evolutionary algorithms in a variety of NASA applications ranging from spacecraft antenna design, fault tolerance for programmable logic chips, atomic force field parameter fitting, analog circuit design, and earth observing satellite scheduling. In some of these applications, evolutionary algorithms match or improve on human performance.

  12. Evolvable Hardware for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohn, Jason; Globus, Al; Hornby, Gregory; Larchev, Gregory; Kraus, William

    2004-01-01

    This article surveys the research of the Evolvable Systems Group at NASA Ames Research Center. Over the past few years, our group has developed the ability to use evolutionary algorithms in a variety of NASA applications ranging from spacecraft antenna design, fault tolerance for programmable logic chips, atomic force field parameter fitting, analog circuit design, and earth observing satellite scheduling. In some of these applications, evolutionary algorithms match or improve on human performance.

  13. When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve?

    PubMed

    Buick, Roger

    2008-08-27

    The atmosphere has apparently been oxygenated since the 'Great Oxidation Event' ca 2.4 Ga ago, but when the photosynthetic oxygen production began is debatable. However, geological and geochemical evidence from older sedimentary rocks indicates that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before this oxygenation event. Fluid-inclusion oils in ca 2.45 Ga sandstones contain hydrocarbon biomarkers evidently sourced from similarly ancient kerogen, preserved without subsequent contamination, and derived from organisms producing and requiring molecular oxygen. Mo and Re abundances and sulphur isotope systematics of slightly older (2.5 Ga) kerogenous shales record a transient pulse of atmospheric oxygen. As early as ca 2.7 Ga, stromatolites and biomarkers from evaporative lake sediments deficient in exogenous reducing power strongly imply that oxygen-producing cyanobacteria had already evolved. Even at ca 3.2 Ga, thick and widespread kerogenous shales are consistent with aerobic photoautrophic marine plankton, and U-Pb data from ca 3.8 Ga metasediments suggest that this metabolism could have arisen by the start of the geological record. Hence, the hypothesis that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before the atmosphere became permanently oxygenated seems well supported. PMID:18468984

  14. When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve?

    PubMed

    Buick, Roger

    2008-08-27

    The atmosphere has apparently been oxygenated since the 'Great Oxidation Event' ca 2.4 Ga ago, but when the photosynthetic oxygen production began is debatable. However, geological and geochemical evidence from older sedimentary rocks indicates that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before this oxygenation event. Fluid-inclusion oils in ca 2.45 Ga sandstones contain hydrocarbon biomarkers evidently sourced from similarly ancient kerogen, preserved without subsequent contamination, and derived from organisms producing and requiring molecular oxygen. Mo and Re abundances and sulphur isotope systematics of slightly older (2.5 Ga) kerogenous shales record a transient pulse of atmospheric oxygen. As early as ca 2.7 Ga, stromatolites and biomarkers from evaporative lake sediments deficient in exogenous reducing power strongly imply that oxygen-producing cyanobacteria had already evolved. Even at ca 3.2 Ga, thick and widespread kerogenous shales are consistent with aerobic photoautrophic marine plankton, and U-Pb data from ca 3.8 Ga metasediments suggest that this metabolism could have arisen by the start of the geological record. Hence, the hypothesis that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before the atmosphere became permanently oxygenated seems well supported.

  15. Evolving Systems and Adaptive Key Component Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, Susan A.; Balas, Mark J.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a new framework called Evolving Systems to describe the self-assembly, or autonomous assembly, of actively controlled dynamical subsystems into an Evolved System with a higher purpose. An introduction to Evolving Systems and exploration of the essential topics of the control and stability properties of Evolving Systems is provided. This chapter defines a framework for Evolving Systems, develops theory and control solutions for fundamental characteristics of Evolving Systems, and provides illustrative examples of Evolving Systems and their control with adaptive key component controllers.

  16. [Exaggerated breed characteristics in dogs].

    PubMed

    Wilting, M M; Endenburg, N

    2012-01-01

    Dutch dog owners seem to be aware of bad dog breeding practices with regard to exaggerated breed characteristics that are detrimental to the dog's welfare. Yet they do not always look for these features when buying a dog. Most dog owners think that veterinarians could have an important role in preventing these exaggerated physical traits, by providing information about these traits and taking action in their capacity as veterinarian. Articles 36 and 55 of the Dutch GWWD (animal health and welfare law) provide opportunities to act against the breeding of dogs with exaggerated genetic traits.

  17. Netgram: Visualizing Communities in Evolving Networks.

    PubMed

    Mall, Raghvendra; Langone, Rocco; Suykens, Johan A K

    2015-01-01

    Real-world complex networks are dynamic in nature and change over time. The change is usually observed in the interactions within the network over time. Complex networks exhibit community like structures. A key feature of the dynamics of complex networks is the evolution of communities over time. Several methods have been proposed to detect and track the evolution of these groups over time. However, there is no generic tool which visualizes all the aspects of group evolution in dynamic networks including birth, death, splitting, merging, expansion, shrinkage and continuation of groups. In this paper, we propose Netgram: a tool for visualizing evolution of communities in time-evolving graphs. Netgram maintains evolution of communities over 2 consecutive time-stamps in tables which are used to create a query database using the sql outer-join operation. It uses a line-based visualization technique which adheres to certain design principles and aesthetic guidelines. Netgram uses a greedy solution to order the initial community information provided by the evolutionary clustering technique such that we have fewer line cross-overs in the visualization. This makes it easier to track the progress of individual communities in time evolving graphs. Netgram is a generic toolkit which can be used with any evolutionary community detection algorithm as illustrated in our experiments. We use Netgram for visualization of topic evolution in the NIPS conference over a period of 11 years and observe the emergence and merging of several disciplines in the field of information processing systems. PMID:26356538

  18. Optimists' Creed: Brave New Cyberlearning, Evolving Utopias (Circa 2041)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burleson, Winslow; Lewis, Armanda

    2016-01-01

    This essay imagines the role that artificial intelligence innovations play in the integrated living, learning and research environments of 2041. Here, in 2041, in the context of increasingly complex wicked challenges, whose solutions by their very nature continue to evade even the most capable experts, society and technology have co-evolved to…

  19. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    PubMed

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology. PMID:26632984

  20. Evolving resistance among Gram-positive pathogens.

    PubMed

    Munita, Jose M; Bayer, Arnold S; Arias, Cesar A

    2015-09-15

    Antimicrobial therapy is a key component of modern medical practice and a cornerstone for the development of complex clinical interventions in critically ill patients. Unfortunately, the increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance is now recognized as a major public health threat jeopardizing the care of thousands of patients worldwide. Gram-positive pathogens exhibit an immense genetic repertoire to adapt and develop resistance to virtually all antimicrobials clinically available. As more molecules become available to treat resistant gram-positive infections, resistance emerges as an evolutionary response. Thus, antimicrobial resistance has to be envisaged as an evolving phenomenon that demands constant surveillance and continuous efforts to identify emerging mechanisms of resistance to optimize the use of antibiotics and create strategies to circumvent this problem. Here, we will provide a broad perspective on the clinical aspects of antibiotic resistance in relevant gram-positive pathogens with emphasis on the mechanistic strategies used by these organisms to avoid being killed by commonly used antimicrobial agents.

  1. Life cycle planning: An evolving concept

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, P.J.R.; Gorman, I.G.

    1994-12-31

    Life-cycle planning is an evolving concept in the management of oil and gas projects. BHP Petroleum now interprets this idea to include all development planning from discovery and field appraisal to final abandonment and includes safety, environmental, technical, plant, regulatory, and staffing issues. This article describes in the context of the Timor Sea, how despite initial successes and continuing facilities upgrades, BHPP came to perceive that current operations could be the victim of early development successes, particularly in the areas of corrosion and maintenance. The search for analogies elsewhere lead to the UK North Sea, including the experiences of Britoil and BP, both of which performed detailed Life of Field studies in the later eighties. These materials have been used to construct a format and content for total Life-cycle plans in general and the social changes required to ensure their successful application in Timor Sea operations and deployment throughout Australia.

  2. Molecular breeding of allergy vaccines and antiallergic cytokines.

    PubMed

    Punnonen, J

    2000-03-01

    Molecular breeding, also called DNA shuffling, is a technology that enables the generation of large libraries of novel genes and vectors, from which improved variants can be selected based on functional properties. In a common format, it involves recursive recombination and mutation, performed by random fragmentation of related DNA sequences, followed by reassembly of the fragments in a self-priming polymerase chain reaction. As in natural evolution, the technique takes advantage of crossovers, deletions, insertions, inversions and point mutations of genes to generate large pools of related sequences. Molecular breeding can be used to generate improved variants of proteins used as therapeutics, such as vaccine antigens, growth factors and immunomodulatory molecules. Moreover, the technology can be applied to evolve entire viruses or vectors, including DNA vaccines. Cytokines downregulating allergic immune responses and allergens are attractive targets for evolution by molecular breeding. This review describes approaches to generate chimeric allergens with T cell epitopes from multiple allergen homologues, while reducing the recognition by preexisting IgE. In addition, the results and applications of molecular breeding in the evolution of improved antiallergic cytokines are discussed.

  3. Harnessing Diversity in Wheat to Enhance Grain Yield, Climate Resilience, Disease and Insect Pest Resistance and Nutrition Through Conventional and Modern Breeding Approaches.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Suchismita; Rutkoski, Jessica E; Velu, Govindan; Singh, Pawan K; Crespo-Herrera, Leonardo A; Guzmán, Carlos; Bhavani, Sridhar; Lan, Caixia; He, Xinyao; Singh, Ravi P

    2016-01-01

    Current trends in population growth and consumption patterns continue to increase the demand for wheat, a key cereal for global food security. Further, multiple abiotic challenges due to climate change and evolving pathogen and pests pose a major concern for increasing wheat production globally. Triticeae species comprising of primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools represent a rich source of genetic diversity in wheat. The conventional breeding strategies of direct hybridization, backcrossing and selection have successfully introgressed a number of desirable traits associated with grain yield, adaptation to abiotic stresses, disease resistance, and bio-fortification of wheat varieties. However, it is time consuming to incorporate genes conferring tolerance/resistance to multiple stresses in a single wheat variety by conventional approaches due to limitations in screening methods and the lower probabilities of combining desirable alleles. Efforts on developing innovative breeding strategies, novel tools and utilizing genetic diversity for new genes/alleles are essential to improve productivity, reduce vulnerability to diseases and pests and enhance nutritional quality. New technologies of high-throughput phenotyping, genome sequencing and genomic selection are promising approaches to maximize progeny screening and selection to accelerate the genetic gains in breeding more productive varieties. Use of cisgenic techniques to transfer beneficial alleles and their combinations within related species also offer great promise especially to achieve durable rust resistance. PMID:27458472

  4. Harnessing Diversity in Wheat to Enhance Grain Yield, Climate Resilience, Disease and Insect Pest Resistance and Nutrition Through Conventional and Modern Breeding Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Suchismita; Rutkoski, Jessica E.; Velu, Govindan; Singh, Pawan K.; Crespo-Herrera, Leonardo A.; Guzmán, Carlos; Bhavani, Sridhar; Lan, Caixia; He, Xinyao; Singh, Ravi P.

    2016-01-01

    Current trends in population growth and consumption patterns continue to increase the demand for wheat, a key cereal for global food security. Further, multiple abiotic challenges due to climate change and evolving pathogen and pests pose a major concern for increasing wheat production globally. Triticeae species comprising of primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools represent a rich source of genetic diversity in wheat. The conventional breeding strategies of direct hybridization, backcrossing and selection have successfully introgressed a number of desirable traits associated with grain yield, adaptation to abiotic stresses, disease resistance, and bio-fortification of wheat varieties. However, it is time consuming to incorporate genes conferring tolerance/resistance to multiple stresses in a single wheat variety by conventional approaches due to limitations in screening methods and the lower probabilities of combining desirable alleles. Efforts on developing innovative breeding strategies, novel tools and utilizing genetic diversity for new genes/alleles are essential to improve productivity, reduce vulnerability to diseases and pests and enhance nutritional quality. New technologies of high-throughput phenotyping, genome sequencing and genomic selection are promising approaches to maximize progeny screening and selection to accelerate the genetic gains in breeding more productive varieties. Use of cisgenic techniques to transfer beneficial alleles and their combinations within related species also offer great promise especially to achieve durable rust resistance. PMID:27458472

  5. Harnessing Diversity in Wheat to Enhance Grain Yield, Climate Resilience, Disease and Insect Pest Resistance and Nutrition Through Conventional and Modern Breeding Approaches.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Suchismita; Rutkoski, Jessica E; Velu, Govindan; Singh, Pawan K; Crespo-Herrera, Leonardo A; Guzmán, Carlos; Bhavani, Sridhar; Lan, Caixia; He, Xinyao; Singh, Ravi P

    2016-01-01

    Current trends in population growth and consumption patterns continue to increase the demand for wheat, a key cereal for global food security. Further, multiple abiotic challenges due to climate change and evolving pathogen and pests pose a major concern for increasing wheat production globally. Triticeae species comprising of primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools represent a rich source of genetic diversity in wheat. The conventional breeding strategies of direct hybridization, backcrossing and selection have successfully introgressed a number of desirable traits associated with grain yield, adaptation to abiotic stresses, disease resistance, and bio-fortification of wheat varieties. However, it is time consuming to incorporate genes conferring tolerance/resistance to multiple stresses in a single wheat variety by conventional approaches due to limitations in screening methods and the lower probabilities of combining desirable alleles. Efforts on developing innovative breeding strategies, novel tools and utilizing genetic diversity for new genes/alleles are essential to improve productivity, reduce vulnerability to diseases and pests and enhance nutritional quality. New technologies of high-throughput phenotyping, genome sequencing and genomic selection are promising approaches to maximize progeny screening and selection to accelerate the genetic gains in breeding more productive varieties. Use of cisgenic techniques to transfer beneficial alleles and their combinations within related species also offer great promise especially to achieve durable rust resistance.

  6. Evolving Robust Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Noman, Nasimul; Monjo, Taku; Moscato, Pablo; Iba, Hitoshi

    2015-01-01

    Design and implementation of robust network modules is essential for construction of complex biological systems through hierarchical assembly of ‘parts’ and ‘devices’. The robustness of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is ascribed chiefly to the underlying topology. The automatic designing capability of GRN topology that can exhibit robust behavior can dramatically change the current practice in synthetic biology. A recent study shows that Darwinian evolution can gradually develop higher topological robustness. Subsequently, this work presents an evolutionary algorithm that simulates natural evolution in silico, for identifying network topologies that are robust to perturbations. We present a Monte Carlo based method for quantifying topological robustness and designed a fitness approximation approach for efficient calculation of topological robustness which is computationally very intensive. The proposed framework was verified using two classic GRN behaviors: oscillation and bistability, although the framework is generalized for evolving other types of responses. The algorithm identified robust GRN architectures which were verified using different analysis and comparison. Analysis of the results also shed light on the relationship among robustness, cooperativity and complexity. This study also shows that nature has already evolved very robust architectures for its crucial systems; hence simulation of this natural process can be very valuable for designing robust biological systems. PMID:25616055

  7. Primordial evolvability: Impasses and challenges.

    PubMed

    Vasas, Vera; Fernando, Chrisantha; Szilágyi, András; Zachár, István; Santos, Mauro; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-09-21

    While it is generally agreed that some kind of replicating non-living compounds were the precursors of life, there is much debate over their possible chemical nature. Metabolism-first approaches propose that mutually catalytic sets of simple organic molecules could be capable of self-replication and rudimentary chemical evolution. In particular, the graded autocatalysis replication domain (GARD) model, depicting assemblies of amphiphilic molecules, has received considerable interest. The system propagates compositional information across generations and is suggested to be a target of natural selection. However, evolutionary simulations indicate that the system lacks selectability (i.e. selection has negligible effect on the equilibrium concentrations). We elaborate on the lessons learnt from the example of the GARD model and, more widely, on the issue of evolvability, and discuss the implications for similar metabolism-first scenarios. We found that simple incorporation-type chemistry based on non-covalent bonds, as assumed in GARD, is unlikely to result in alternative autocatalytic cycles when catalytic interactions are randomly distributed. An even more serious problem stems from the lognormal distribution of catalytic factors, causing inherent kinetic instability of such loops, due to the dominance of efficiently catalyzed components that fail to return catalytic aid. Accordingly, the dynamics of the GARD model is dominated by strongly catalytic, but not auto-catalytic, molecules. Without effective autocatalysis, stable hereditary propagation is not possible. Many repetitions and different scaling of the model come to no rescue. Despite all attempts to show the contrary, the GARD model is not evolvable, in contrast to reflexively autocatalytic networks, complemented by rare uncatalyzed reactions and compartmentation. The latter networks, resting on the creation and breakage of chemical bonds, can generate novel ('mutant') autocatalytic loops from a given set of

  8. Isotopic Analysis and Evolved Gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swindle, Timothy D.; Boynton, William V.; Chutjian, Ara; Hoffman, John H.; Jordan, Jim L.; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; McEntire, Richard W.; Nyquist, Larry

    1996-01-01

    Precise measurements of the chemical, elemental, and isotopic composition of planetary surface material and gases, and observed variations in these compositions, can contribute significantly to our knowledge of the source(s), ages, and evolution of solar system materials. The analyses discussed in this paper are mostly made by mass spectrometers or some other type of mass analyzer, and address three broad areas of interest: (1) atmospheric composition - isotopic, elemental, and molecular, (2) gases evolved from solids, and (3) solids. Current isotopic data on nine elements, mostly from in situ analysis, but also from meteorites and telescopic observations are summarized. Potential instruments for isotopic analysis of lunar, Martian, Venusian, Mercury, and Pluto surfaces, along with asteroid, cometary and icy satellites, surfaces are discussed.

  9. Speech processing: An evolving technology

    SciTech Connect

    Crochiere, R.E.; Flanagan, J.L.

    1986-09-01

    As we enter the information age, speech processing is emerging as an important technology for making machines easier and more convenient for humans to use. It is both an old and a new technology - dating back to the invention of the telephone and forward, at least in aspirations, to the capabilities of HAL in 2001. Explosive advances in microelectronics now make it possible to implement economical real-time hardware for sophisticated speech processing - processing that formerly could be demonstrated only in simulations on main-frame computers. As a result, fundamentally new product concepts - as well as new features and functions in existing products - are becoming possible and are being explored in the marketplace. As the introductory piece to this issue, the authors draw a brief perspective on the evolving field of speech processing and assess the technology in the the three constituent sectors: speech coding, synthesis, and recognition.

  10. Planets in Evolved Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.

    2011-03-01

    Exo-planets are typically thought to form in protoplanetary disks left over from protostellar disk of their newly formed host star. However, additional planetary formation and evolution routes may exist in old evolved binary systems. Here we discuss the implications of binary stellar evolution on planetary systems in such environments. In these binary systems stellar evolution could lead to the formation of symbiotic stars, where mass is lost from one star and could be transferred to its binary companion, and may form an accretion disk around it. This raises the possibility that such a disk could provide the necessary environment for the formation of a new, second generation of planets in both circumstellar or circumbinary configurations. Pre-existing first generation planets surviving the post-MS evolution of such systems would be dynamically effected by the mass loss in the systems and may also interact with the newly formed disk. Such planets and/or planetesimals may also serve as seeds for the formation of the second generation planets, and/or interact with them, possibly forming atypical planetary systems. Second generation planetary systems should be typically found in white dwarf binary systems, and may show various observational signatures. Most notably, second generation planets could form in environment which are inaccessible, or less favorable, for first generation planets. The orbital phase space available for the second generation planets could be forbidden (in terms of the system stability) to first generation planets in the pre-evolved progenitor binaries. In addition planets could form in metal poor environments such as globular clusters and/or in double compact object binaries. Observations of exo-planets in such forbidden or unfavorable regions could possibly serve to uniquely identify their second generation character. Finally, we point out a few observed candidate second generation planetary systems, including Gl 86, HD 27442 and all of the

  11. Cassava Breeding I: The Value of Breeding Value

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Hernán; Pérez, Juan C.; Joaqui Barandica, Orlando; Lenis, Jorge I.; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Pino, Lizbeth; Hershey, Clair H.

    2016-01-01

    Breeding cassava relies on several selection stages (single row trial-SRT; preliminary; advanced; and uniform yield trials—UYT). This study uses data from 14 years of evaluations. From more than 20,000 genotypes initially evaluated only 114 reached the last stage. The objective was to assess how the data at SRT could be used to predict the probabilities of genotypes reaching the UYT. Phenotypic data from each genotype at SRT was integrated into the selection index (SIN) used by the cassava breeding program. Average SIN from all the progenies derived from each progenitor was then obtained. Average SIN is an approximation of the breeding value of each progenitor. Data clearly suggested that some genotypes were better progenitors than others (e.g., high number of their progenies reaching the UYT), suggesting important variation in breeding values of progenitors. However, regression of average SIN of each parental genotype on the number of their respective progenies reaching UYT resulted in a negligible coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.05). Breeding value (e.g., average SIN) at SRT was not efficient predicting which genotypes were more likely to reach the UYT stage. Number of families and progenies derived from a given progenitor were more efficient predicting the probabilities of the progeny from a given parent reaching the UYT stage. Large within-family genetic variation tends to mask the true breeding value of each progenitor. The use of partially inbred progenitors (e.g., S1 or S2 genotypes) would reduce the within-family genetic variation thus making the assessment of breeding value more accurate. Moreover, partial inbreeding of progenitors can improve the breeding value of the original (S0) parental material and sharply accelerate genetic gains. For instance, homozygous S1 genotypes for the dominant resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) could be generated and selected. All gametes from these selected S1 genotypes would carry the desirable allele and

  12. Cassava Breeding I: The Value of Breeding Value.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, Hernán; Pérez, Juan C; Joaqui Barandica, Orlando; Lenis, Jorge I; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Pino, Lizbeth; Hershey, Clair H

    2016-01-01

    Breeding cassava relies on several selection stages (single row trial-SRT; preliminary; advanced; and uniform yield trials-UYT). This study uses data from 14 years of evaluations. From more than 20,000 genotypes initially evaluated only 114 reached the last stage. The objective was to assess how the data at SRT could be used to predict the probabilities of genotypes reaching the UYT. Phenotypic data from each genotype at SRT was integrated into the selection index (SIN) used by the cassava breeding program. Average SIN from all the progenies derived from each progenitor was then obtained. Average SIN is an approximation of the breeding value of each progenitor. Data clearly suggested that some genotypes were better progenitors than others (e.g., high number of their progenies reaching the UYT), suggesting important variation in breeding values of progenitors. However, regression of average SIN of each parental genotype on the number of their respective progenies reaching UYT resulted in a negligible coefficient of determination (r (2) = 0.05). Breeding value (e.g., average SIN) at SRT was not efficient predicting which genotypes were more likely to reach the UYT stage. Number of families and progenies derived from a given progenitor were more efficient predicting the probabilities of the progeny from a given parent reaching the UYT stage. Large within-family genetic variation tends to mask the true breeding value of each progenitor. The use of partially inbred progenitors (e.g., S1 or S2 genotypes) would reduce the within-family genetic variation thus making the assessment of breeding value more accurate. Moreover, partial inbreeding of progenitors can improve the breeding value of the original (S0) parental material and sharply accelerate genetic gains. For instance, homozygous S1 genotypes for the dominant resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) could be generated and selected. All gametes from these selected S1 genotypes would carry the desirable allele and

  13. Cassava Breeding I: The Value of Breeding Value

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Hernán; Pérez, Juan C.; Joaqui Barandica, Orlando; Lenis, Jorge I.; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Pino, Lizbeth; Hershey, Clair H.

    2016-01-01

    Breeding cassava relies on several selection stages (single row trial-SRT; preliminary; advanced; and uniform yield trials—UYT). This study uses data from 14 years of evaluations. From more than 20,000 genotypes initially evaluated only 114 reached the last stage. The objective was to assess how the data at SRT could be used to predict the probabilities of genotypes reaching the UYT. Phenotypic data from each genotype at SRT was integrated into the selection index (SIN) used by the cassava breeding program. Average SIN from all the progenies derived from each progenitor was then obtained. Average SIN is an approximation of the breeding value of each progenitor. Data clearly suggested that some genotypes were better progenitors than others (e.g., high number of their progenies reaching the UYT), suggesting important variation in breeding values of progenitors. However, regression of average SIN of each parental genotype on the number of their respective progenies reaching UYT resulted in a negligible coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.05). Breeding value (e.g., average SIN) at SRT was not efficient predicting which genotypes were more likely to reach the UYT stage. Number of families and progenies derived from a given progenitor were more efficient predicting the probabilities of the progeny from a given parent reaching the UYT stage. Large within-family genetic variation tends to mask the true breeding value of each progenitor. The use of partially inbred progenitors (e.g., S1 or S2 genotypes) would reduce the within-family genetic variation thus making the assessment of breeding value more accurate. Moreover, partial inbreeding of progenitors can improve the breeding value of the original (S0) parental material and sharply accelerate genetic gains. For instance, homozygous S1 genotypes for the dominant resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) could be generated and selected. All gametes from these selected S1 genotypes would carry the desirable allele and

  14. Cassava Breeding I: The Value of Breeding Value.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, Hernán; Pérez, Juan C; Joaqui Barandica, Orlando; Lenis, Jorge I; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Pino, Lizbeth; Hershey, Clair H

    2016-01-01

    Breeding cassava relies on several selection stages (single row trial-SRT; preliminary; advanced; and uniform yield trials-UYT). This study uses data from 14 years of evaluations. From more than 20,000 genotypes initially evaluated only 114 reached the last stage. The objective was to assess how the data at SRT could be used to predict the probabilities of genotypes reaching the UYT. Phenotypic data from each genotype at SRT was integrated into the selection index (SIN) used by the cassava breeding program. Average SIN from all the progenies derived from each progenitor was then obtained. Average SIN is an approximation of the breeding value of each progenitor. Data clearly suggested that some genotypes were better progenitors than others (e.g., high number of their progenies reaching the UYT), suggesting important variation in breeding values of progenitors. However, regression of average SIN of each parental genotype on the number of their respective progenies reaching UYT resulted in a negligible coefficient of determination (r (2) = 0.05). Breeding value (e.g., average SIN) at SRT was not efficient predicting which genotypes were more likely to reach the UYT stage. Number of families and progenies derived from a given progenitor were more efficient predicting the probabilities of the progeny from a given parent reaching the UYT stage. Large within-family genetic variation tends to mask the true breeding value of each progenitor. The use of partially inbred progenitors (e.g., S1 or S2 genotypes) would reduce the within-family genetic variation thus making the assessment of breeding value more accurate. Moreover, partial inbreeding of progenitors can improve the breeding value of the original (S0) parental material and sharply accelerate genetic gains. For instance, homozygous S1 genotypes for the dominant resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) could be generated and selected. All gametes from these selected S1 genotypes would carry the desirable allele and

  15. Breeding of ozone resistant rice: relevance, approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Frei, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Tropospheric ozone concentrations have been rising across Asia, and will continue to rise during the 21st century. Ozone affects rice yields through reductions in spikelet number, spikelet fertility, and grain size. Moreover, ozone leads to changes in rice grain and straw quality. Therefore the breeding of ozone tolerant rice varieties is warranted. The mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) using bi-parental populations identified several tolerance QTL mitigating symptom formation, grain yield losses, or the degradation of straw quality. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) demonstrated substantial natural genotypic variation in ozone tolerance in rice, and revealed that the genetic architecture of ozone tolerance in rice is dominated by multiple medium and small effect loci. Transgenic approaches targeting tolerance mechanisms such as antioxidant capacity are also discussed. It is concluded that the breeding of ozone tolerant rice can contribute substantially to the global food security, and is feasible using different breeding approaches. PMID:25528448

  16. Breeding of ozone resistant rice: relevance, approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Frei, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Tropospheric ozone concentrations have been rising across Asia, and will continue to rise during the 21st century. Ozone affects rice yields through reductions in spikelet number, spikelet fertility, and grain size. Moreover, ozone leads to changes in rice grain and straw quality. Therefore the breeding of ozone tolerant rice varieties is warranted. The mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) using bi-parental populations identified several tolerance QTL mitigating symptom formation, grain yield losses, or the degradation of straw quality. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) demonstrated substantial natural genotypic variation in ozone tolerance in rice, and revealed that the genetic architecture of ozone tolerance in rice is dominated by multiple medium and small effect loci. Transgenic approaches targeting tolerance mechanisms such as antioxidant capacity are also discussed. It is concluded that the breeding of ozone tolerant rice can contribute substantially to the global food security, and is feasible using different breeding approaches.

  17. Emperor penguins breeding on iceshelves.

    PubMed

    Fretwell, Peter T; Trathan, Phil N; Wienecke, Barbara; Kooyman, Gerald L

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new breeding behaviour discovered in emperor penguins; utilizing satellite and aerial-survey observations four emperor penguin breeding colonies have been recorded as existing on ice-shelves. Emperors have previously been considered as a sea-ice obligate species, with 44 of the 46 colonies located on sea-ice (the other two small colonies are on land). Of the colonies found on ice-shelves, two are newly discovered, and these have been recorded on shelves every season that they have been observed, the other two have been recorded both on ice-shelves and sea-ice in different breeding seasons. We conduct two analyses; the first using synthetic aperture radar data to assess why the largest of the four colonies, for which we have most data, locates sometimes on the shelf and sometimes on the sea-ice, and find that in years where the sea-ice forms late, the colony relocates onto the ice-shelf. The second analysis uses a number of environmental variables to test the habitat marginality of all emperor penguin breeding sites. We find that three of the four colonies reported in this study are in the most northerly, warmest conditions where sea-ice is often sub-optimal. The emperor penguin's reliance on sea-ice as a breeding platform coupled with recent concerns over changed sea-ice patterns consequent on regional warming, has led to their designation as "near threatened" in the IUCN red list. Current climate models predict that future loss of sea-ice around the Antarctic coastline will negatively impact emperor numbers; recent estimates suggest a halving of the population by 2052. The discovery of this new breeding behaviour at marginal sites could mitigate some of the consequences of sea-ice loss; potential benefits and whether these are permanent or temporary need to be considered and understood before further attempts are made to predict the population trajectory of this iconic species.

  18. Emperor penguins breeding on iceshelves.

    PubMed

    Fretwell, Peter T; Trathan, Phil N; Wienecke, Barbara; Kooyman, Gerald L

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new breeding behaviour discovered in emperor penguins; utilizing satellite and aerial-survey observations four emperor penguin breeding colonies have been recorded as existing on ice-shelves. Emperors have previously been considered as a sea-ice obligate species, with 44 of the 46 colonies located on sea-ice (the other two small colonies are on land). Of the colonies found on ice-shelves, two are newly discovered, and these have been recorded on shelves every season that they have been observed, the other two have been recorded both on ice-shelves and sea-ice in different breeding seasons. We conduct two analyses; the first using synthetic aperture radar data to assess why the largest of the four colonies, for which we have most data, locates sometimes on the shelf and sometimes on the sea-ice, and find that in years where the sea-ice forms late, the colony relocates onto the ice-shelf. The second analysis uses a number of environmental variables to test the habitat marginality of all emperor penguin breeding sites. We find that three of the four colonies reported in this study are in the most northerly, warmest conditions where sea-ice is often sub-optimal. The emperor penguin's reliance on sea-ice as a breeding platform coupled with recent concerns over changed sea-ice patterns consequent on regional warming, has led to their designation as "near threatened" in the IUCN red list. Current climate models predict that future loss of sea-ice around the Antarctic coastline will negatively impact emperor numbers; recent estimates suggest a halving of the population by 2052. The discovery of this new breeding behaviour at marginal sites could mitigate some of the consequences of sea-ice loss; potential benefits and whether these are permanent or temporary need to be considered and understood before further attempts are made to predict the population trajectory of this iconic species. PMID:24416381

  19. A Quantitative Approach to Assessing System Evolvability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christian, John A., III

    2004-01-01

    When selecting a system from multiple candidates, the customer seeks the one that best meets his or her needs. Recently the desire for evolvable systems has become more important and engineers are striving to develop systems that accommodate this need. In response to this search for evolvability, we present a historical perspective on evolvability, propose a refined definition of evolvability, and develop a quantitative method for measuring this property. We address this quantitative methodology from both a theoretical and practical perspective. This quantitative model is then applied to the problem of evolving a lunar mission to a Mars mission as a case study.

  20. Breeding monkeys for biomedical research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourne, G. H.; Golarzdebourne, M. N.; Keeling, M. E.

    1973-01-01

    Captive bred rhesus monkeys show much less pathology than wild born animals. The monkeys may be bred in cages or in an outdoor compound. Cage bred animals are not psychologically normal which makes then unsuited for some types of space related research. Compound breeding provides contact between mother and infant and an opportunity for the infants to play with their peers which are important requirements to help maintain their behavioral integrity. Offspring harvested after a year in the compound appear behaviorally normal and show little histopathology. Compound breeding is also an economical method for the rapid production of young animals. The colony can double its size about every two and a half years.

  1. Breed base representation in dairy animals of 5 breeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inheritance of DNA from different dairy breeds can be determined by genotyping, just as individual ancestors such as parents, grandparents, or even great grandparents can be identified correctly in a high percentage of the cases by genotyping even if not reported or reported incorrectly in pedigrees...

  2. Comparison of molecular breeding values based on within- and across-breed training in beef cattle

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Although the efficacy of genomic predictors based on within-breed training looks promising, it is necessary to develop and evaluate across-breed predictors for the technology to be fully applied in the beef industry. The efficacies of genomic predictors trained in one breed and utilized to predict genetic merit in differing breeds based on simulation studies have been reported, as have the efficacies of predictors trained using data from multiple breeds to predict the genetic merit of purebreds. However, comparable studies using beef cattle field data have not been reported. Methods Molecular breeding values for weaning and yearling weight were derived and evaluated using a database containing BovineSNP50 genotypes for 7294 animals from 13 breeds in the training set and 2277 animals from seven breeds (Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, and Simmental) in the evaluation set. Six single-breed and four across-breed genomic predictors were trained using pooled data from purebred animals. Molecular breeding values were evaluated using field data, including genotypes for 2227 animals and phenotypic records of animals born in 2008 or later. Accuracies of molecular breeding values were estimated based on the genetic correlation between the molecular breeding value and trait phenotype. Results With one exception, the estimated genetic correlations of within-breed molecular breeding values with trait phenotype were greater than 0.28 when evaluated in the breed used for training. Most estimated genetic correlations for the across-breed trained molecular breeding values were moderate (> 0.30). When molecular breeding values were evaluated in breeds that were not in the training set, estimated genetic correlations clustered around zero. Conclusions Even for closely related breeds, within- or across-breed trained molecular breeding values have limited prediction accuracy for breeds that were not in the training set. For breeds in the training

  3. Community-based alternative breeding plans for indigenous sheep breeds in four agro-ecological zones of Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mirkena, T; Duguma, G; Willam, A; Wurzinger, M; Haile, A; Rischkowsky, B; Okeyo, A M; Tibbo, M; Solkner, J

    2012-06-01

    Based on the results of participatory approaches to define traits in the breeding objectives, four scenarios of ram selection and ram use were compared via deterministic modelling of breeding plans for community-based sheep breeding programmes in four diverse agro-ecological regions of Ethiopia. The regions (and production systems) were Afar (pastoral/agro-pastoral), Bonga and Horro (both mixed crop-livestock) and Menz (sheep-barley). The schemes or scenarios differed in terms of selection intensity and duration of ram use. The predicted genetic gains per year in yearling weight (kilograms) were comparable across the schemes but differed among the breeds and ranged from 0.399 to 0.440 in Afar, 0.813 to 0.894 in Bonga, 0.850 to 0.940 in Horro, and 0.616 to 0.699 in Menz. The genetic gains per year in number of lambs born per ewe bred ranged from 0.009 to 0.010 in both Bonga and Horro. The predicted genetic gain in the proportion of lambs weaned per ewe joined was nearly comparable in all breeds ranging from 0.008 to 0.011. The genetic gain per year in milk yield of Afar breed was in the order of 0.018 to 0.020 kg, while the genetic gain per generation for greasy fleece weight (kg) ranged from 0.016 to 0.024 in Menz. Generally, strong selection and shorter duration of ram use for breeding were the preferred options. The expected genetic gains are satisfactory but largely rely on accurate and continuous pedigree and performance recording.

  4. Magnetic fields around evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leal-Ferreira, M.; Vlemmings, W.; Kemball, A.; Amiri, N.; Maercker, M.; Ramstedt, S.; Olofsson, G.

    2014-04-01

    A number of mechanisms, such as magnetic fields, (binary) companions and circumstellar disks have been suggested to be the cause of non-spherical PNe and in particular collimated outflows. This work investigates one of these mechanisms: the magnetic fields. While MHD simulations show that the fields can indeed be important, few observations of magnetic fields have been done so far. We used the VLBA to observe five evolved stars, with the goal of detecting the magnetic field by means of water maser polarization. The sample consists in four AGB stars (IK Tau, RT Vir, IRC+60370 and AP Lyn) and one pPN (OH231.8+4.2). In four of the five sources, several strong maser features were detected allowing us to measure the linear and/or circular polarization. Based on the circular polarization detections, we infer the strength of the component of the field along the line of sight to be between ~30 mG and ~330 mG in the water maser regions of these four sources. When extrapolated to the surface of the stars, the magnetic field strength would be between a few hundred mG and a few Gauss when assuming a toroidal field geometry and higher when assuming more complex magnetic fields. We conclude that the magnetic energy we derived in the water maser regions is higher than the thermal and kinetic energy, leading to the conclusion that, indeed, magnetic fields probably play an important role in shaping Planetary Nebulae.

  5. How do drumlin patterns evolve?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ely, Jeremy; Clark, Chris; Spagnolo, Matteo; Hughes, Anna

    2016-04-01

    The flow of a geomorphic agent over a sediment bed creates patterns in the substrate composed of bedforms. Ice is no exception to this, organising soft sedimentary substrates into subglacial bedforms. As we are yet to fully observe their initiation and evolution beneath a contemporary ice mass, little is known about how patterns in subglacial bedforms develop. Here we study 36,222 drumlins, divided into 72 flowsets, left behind by the former British-Irish Ice sheet. These flowsets provide us with 'snapshots' of drumlin pattern development. The probability distribution functions of the size and shape metrics of drumlins within these flowsets were analysed to determine whether behaviour that is common of other patterned phenomena has occurred. Specifically, we ask whether drumlins i) are printed at a specific scale; ii) grow or shrink after they initiate; iii) stabilise at a specific size and shape; and iv) migrate. Our results indicate that drumlins initiate at a minimum size and spacing. After initiation, the log-normal distribution of drumlin size and shape metrics suggests that drumlins grow, or possibly shrink, as they develop. We find no evidence for stabilisation in drumlin length, supporting the idea of a subglacial bedform continuum. Drumlin migration is difficult to determine from the palaeo-record. However, there are some indications that a mixture of static and mobile drumlins occurs, which could potentially lead to collisions, cannibalisation and coarsening. Further images of modern drumlin fields evolving beneath ice are required to capture stages of drumlin pattern evolution.

  6. Recommendation in evolving online networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Zeng, An; Shang, Ming-Sheng

    2016-02-01

    Recommender system is an effective tool to find the most relevant information for online users. By analyzing the historical selection records of users, recommender system predicts the most likely future links in the user-item network and accordingly constructs a personalized recommendation list for each user. So far, the recommendation process is mostly investigated in static user-item networks. In this paper, we propose a model which allows us to examine the performance of the state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms in evolving networks. We find that the recommendation accuracy in general decreases with time if the evolution of the online network fully depends on the recommendation. Interestingly, some randomness in users' choice can significantly improve the long-term accuracy of the recommendation algorithm. When a hybrid recommendation algorithm is applied, we find that the optimal parameter gradually shifts towards the diversity-favoring recommendation algorithm, indicating that recommendation diversity is essential to keep a high long-term recommendation accuracy. Finally, we confirm our conclusions by studying the recommendation on networks with the real evolution data.

  7. Multiscale modelling of evolving foams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saye, R. I.; Sethian, J. A.

    2016-06-01

    We present a set of multi-scale interlinked algorithms to model the dynamics of evolving foams. These algorithms couple the key effects of macroscopic bubble rearrangement, thin film drainage, and membrane rupture. For each of the mechanisms, we construct consistent and accurate algorithms, and couple them together to work across the wide range of space and time scales that occur in foam dynamics. These algorithms include second order finite difference projection methods for computing incompressible fluid flow on the macroscale, second order finite element methods to solve thin film drainage equations in the lamellae and Plateau borders, multiphase Voronoi Implicit Interface Methods to track interconnected membrane boundaries and capture topological changes, and Lagrangian particle methods for conservative liquid redistribution during rearrangement and rupture. We derive a full set of numerical approximations that are coupled via interface jump conditions and flux boundary conditions, and show convergence for the individual mechanisms. We demonstrate our approach by computing a variety of foam dynamics, including coupled evolution of three-dimensional bubble clusters attached to an anchored membrane and collapse of a foam cluster.

  8. A slowly evolving host moves first in symbiotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damore, James; Gore, Jeff

    2011-03-01

    Symbiotic relationships, both parasitic and mutualistic, are ubiquitous in nature. Understanding how these symbioses evolve, from bacteria and their phages to humans and our gut microflora, is crucial in understanding how life operates. Often, symbioses consist of a slowly evolving host species with each host only interacting with its own sub-population of symbionts. The Red Queen hypothesis describes coevolutionary relationships as constant arms races with each species rushing to evolve an advantage over the other, suggesting that faster evolution is favored. Here, we use a simple game theoretic model of host- symbiont coevolution that includes population structure to show that if the symbionts evolve much faster than the host, the equilibrium distribution is the same as it would be if it were a sequential game where the host moves first against its symbionts. For the slowly evolving host, this will prove to be advantageous in mutualisms and a handicap in antagonisms. The model allows for symbiont adaptation to its host, a result that is robust to changes in the parameters and generalizes to continuous and multiplayer games. Our findings provide insight into a wide range of symbiotic phenomena and help to unify the field of coevolutionary theory.

  9. Nutrient reserve dynamics of breeding canvasbacks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barzen, J.A.; Serie, J.R.

    1990-01-01

    We compared nutrients in reproductive and nonreproductive tissues of breeding Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) to assess the relative importance of endogenous reserves and exogenous foods. Fat reserves of females increased during rapid follicle growth and varied more widely in size during the early phase of this period. Females began laying with ca. 205 g of fat in reserve and lost 1.8 g of carcass fat for every 1 g of fat contained in their ovary and eggs. Females lost body mass (primarily fat) at a declining rate as incubation advanced. Protein reserves increased directly with dry oviduct mass during rapid follicle growth. This direct relationship was highly dependent upon data from 2 birds and likely biased by structural size. During laying, protein reserves did not vary with the combined mass of dry oviduct and dry egg protein. Between laying and incubation, mean protein reserves decreased by an amount equal to the protein found in 2.1 Canvasback eggs. Calcium reserves did not vary with the cumulative total of calcium deposited in eggs. Mean calcium reserve declined by the equivalent content of 1.2 eggs between laying and incubation. We believe that protein and calcium were stored in small amounts during laying, and that they were supplemented continually by exogenous sources. In contrast, fat was stored in large amounts and contributed significantly to egg production and body maintenance. Male Canvasbacks lost fat steadily--but not protein or calcium--as the breeding season progressed.

  10. The evolution of potato breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato cultivars in most regions of the world are tetraploid and clonally propagated. For over a century, the breeding strategy has been phenotypic recurrent selection. However, the polyploid nature of the crop prevents breeders from eliminating deleterious alleles and assembling positive alleles fo...

  11. Genomic selection in plant breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic selection (GS) is a method to predict the genetic value of selection candidates based on the genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) predicted from high-density markers positioned throughout the genome. Unlike marker-assisted selection, the GEBV is based on all markers including both minor ...

  12. Breeding and propagating oakleaf hydrangeas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An oakleaf hydrangea breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum’s worksite in McMinnville, Tenn. was started in 1996 for the purpose of developing attractive, compact oakleaf hydrangea cultivars suitable for use in small residential gardens. ‘Ruby Slippers’ and ‘Munchkin’ oakleaf hydrangeas we...

  13. Mechanism Of Resistance Of Evolved Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus Palmeri L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evolved glyphosate resistance in weedy species represents a challenge for the continued success and utility of glyphosate-resistant crops. The first case of evolved glyphosate resistance in Palmer amaranth was a population from the U.S. state of Georgia, which was previously reported to have amplif...

  14. Submillimeter observations of evolved stars

    SciTech Connect

    Sopka, R.J.; Hildebrand, R.; Jaffe, D.T.; Gatley, I.; Roellig, T.; Werner, M.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.

    1985-07-01

    Broad-band submillimeter observations of the thermal emission from evolved stars have been obtained with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. These observations, at an effective wavelength of 400 ..mu..m, provide the most direct method for estimating the mass loss rate in dust from these stars and also help to define the long-wavelength thermal spectrum of the dust envelopes. The mass loss rates in dust that we derive range from 10/sup -9/ to 10/sup -6/ M/sub sun/ yr/sup -1/ and are compared with mass loss rates derived from molecular line observations to estimate gas-to-dust ratios in outflowing envelopes. These values are found to be generally compatible with the interstellar gas-to-dust ratio of approx.100 if submillimeter emissivities appropriate to amorphous grain structures are assumed. Our analysis of the spectrum of IRC+10216 confirms previous suggestions that the grain emissivity varies as lambda/sup -1.2/ rather than as lambda/sup -2/ for 10

  15. Voyages Through Time: Everything Evolves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendleton, Y. J.; Tarter, J. C.; DeVore, E. K.; O'Sullivan, K. A.; Taylor, S. M.

    2001-12-01

    Evolutionary change is a powerful framework for studying our world and our place therein. It is a recurring theme in every realm of science: over time, the universe, the planet Earth, life, and human technologies all change, albeit on vastly different scales. Evolution offers scientific explanations for the age-old question, "Where did we come from?" In addition, historical perspectives of science show how our understanding has evolved over time. The complexities of all of these systems will never reveal a "finished" story. But it is a story of epic size, capable of inspiring awe and of expanding our sense of time and place, and eminently worthy of investigating. This story is the basis of Voyages Through Time. Voyages Through Time (VTT), provides teachers with not only background science content and pedagogy, but also with materials and resources for the teaching of evolution. The six modules, Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution, and Evolution of Technology, emphasize student inquiry, and promote the nature of science, as recommended in the NSES and BSL. The modules are unified by the overarching theme of evolution and the meta questions: "What is changing?" "What is the rate of change?" and "What is the mechanism of change?" Determination of student outcomes for the project required effective collaboration of scientists, teachers, students and media specialists. The broadest curricula students outcomes are 1) an enjoyment of science, 2) an understanding of the nature of science, especially the understanding of evidence and re-evaluation, and 3) key science content. The curriculum is being developed by the SETI Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco State University, and is funded by the NSF (IMD 9730693), with support form Hewlett-Packard Company, The Foundation for Microbiology, Combined Federated Charities, NASA Astrobiology Institute, and NASA Fundamental

  16. METAPOPULATION STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF POND BREEDING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our review indicates that pond breeding amphibians exhibit highly variable spatial and temporal population dynamics, such that no single generalized model can realistically describe these animals. We propose that consideration of breeding pond permanence, and adaptations to pond ...

  17. The Kintamani dog: genetic profile of an emerging breed from Bali, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Puja, I K; Irion, D N; Schaffer, A L; Pedersen, N C

    2005-01-01

    The Kintamani dog is an evolving breed indigenous to the Kintamani region of Bali. Kintamani dogs cohabitate with feral Bali street dogs, although folklore has the breed originating 600 years ago from a Chinese Chow Chow. The physical and personality characteristics of the Kintamani dog make it a popular pet for the Balinese, and efforts are currently under way to have the dog accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale as a recognized breed. To study the genetic background of the Kintamani dog, 31 highly polymorphic short tandem repeat markers were analyzed in Kintamani dogs, Bali street dogs, Australian dingoes, and nine American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds of Asian or European origin. The Kintamani dog was identical to the Bali street dog at all but three loci. The Bali street dog and Kintamani dog were most closely aligned with the Australian dingo and distantly related to AKC recognized breeds of Asian but not European origin. Therefore, the Kintamani dog has evolved from Balinese feral dogs with little loss of genetic diversity. PMID:16014810

  18. Evolution of Conspecific Brood Parasitism versus Cooperative Breeding as Alternative Reproductive Tactics.

    PubMed

    Zink, Andrew G; Lyon, Bruce E

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative breeding and conspecific brood parasitism can both be favored by ecological saturation of breeding territories or nest sites. Here, we develop a model that links these alternative reproductive tactics by focusing on nonnesting females (S) that either breed cooperatively with a nesting female (N) or parasitize a third, outside host female (H). We find that cooperative breeding is more likely to evolve with increasing relatedness of cooperating females (S or N) to the outside host female (H) and with increasing costs to the hosts for receiving parasitic eggs. Conversely, cooperation is less likely with increasing kinship between the two potentially cooperative nesters (S and N). This is because even the nesting female gains higher inclusive fitness as long as the number of parasitic eggs (of her otherwise potentially cooperating partner) is sufficiently high. We find the relationship between kinship and reproductive skew within cooperative nests can be either positive or negative depending on the fecundity of parasites versus nesting females. We also find that either of the cooperatively nesting females is more likely to tolerate a smaller fraction of group reproduction as kinship with the host female increases and as the host reproduces more (relative to the parasite) in outside nests. Finally, our model predicts that, as the outside option of conspecific brood parasitism becomes more profitable, helping behavior (zero reproduction by one female) is less likely to evolve in cooperatively breeding groups. PMID:27277401

  19. Genetic Diversity of US Sheep Breeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the genetic relationships between US sheep breeds is useful in developing conservation strategies and actions. A broad sampling of individual sheep from 28 breeds was performed. Breed types included: fine wool, meat types, long wool, hair, prolific, and fat tailed. Blood and semen samp...

  20. Population structure of ice-breeding seals.

    PubMed

    Davis, Corey S; Stirling, Ian; Strobeck, Curtis; Coltman, David W

    2008-07-01

    The development of population genetic structure in ice-breeding seal species is likely to be shaped by a combination of breeding habitat and life-history characteristics. Species that return to breed on predictable fast-ice locations are more likely to exhibit natal fidelity than pack-ice-breeding species, which in turn facilitates the development of genetic differentiation between subpopulations. Other aspects of life history such as geographically distinct vocalizations, female gregariousness, and the potential for polygynous breeding may also facilitate population structure. Based on these factors, we predicted that fast-ice-breeding seal species (the Weddell and ringed seal) would show elevated genetic differentiation compared to pack-ice-breeding species (the leopard, Ross, crabeater and bearded seals). We tested this prediction using microsatellite analysis to examine population structure of these six ice-breeding species. Our results did not support this prediction. While none of the Antarctic pack-ice species showed statistically significant population structure, the bearded seal of the Arctic pack ice showed strong differentiation between subpopulations. Again in contrast, the fast-ice-breeding Weddell seal of the Antarctic showed clear evidence for genetic differentiation while the ringed seal, breeding in similar habitat in the Arctic, did not. These results suggest that the development of population structure in ice-breeding phocid seals is a more complex outcome of the interplay of phylogenetic and ecological factors than can be predicted on the basis of breeding substrate and life-history characteristics.

  1. Evolving with Medicare: an approach to retirement strategy.

    PubMed

    Habliston, Charles; Hanrahan, Mark

    2006-01-01

    With Medicare Part D now providing prescription drug coverage, employers' retiree health plans are ripe for change. Effective change requires more than just adjustments. A global or enterprisewide approach to the development of a retirement strategy is important and should encompass five components: design, finance, administration, communication and control. This article discusses the strategic approach to crafting retiree health policy as the Medicare landscape continues to evolve. PMID:17039820

  2. The Evolving Nature of Hepatic Abscess: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Mavilia, Marianna G.; Molina, Marco; Wu, George Y.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Hepatic abscess (HA) remains a serious and often difficult to diagnose problem. HAs can be divided into three main categories based on the underlying conditions: infectious, malignant, and iatrogenic. Infectious abscesses include those secondary to direct extension from local infection, systemic bacteremia, and intra-abdominal infections that seed the portal system. However, over the years, the etiologies and risks factors for HA have continued to evolve. Prompt recognition is important for instituting effective management and obtaining good outcomes. PMID:27350946

  3. Women and Ischemic Heart Disease: Evolving Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Leslee J.; Bugiardini, Raffaelle; Merz, C. Noel Bairey

    2009-01-01

    Evolving knowledge regarding sex differences in coronary heart disease (CHD) is emerging. Given the lower burden of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) and preserved systolic function in women contrasted by higher rates of myocardial ischemia and near-term mortality compared to men, we propose the term ischemic heart disease (IHD) as appropriate for this discussion specific to women, rather than CAD or CHD. This paradoxical difference where women have lower rates of anatomical CAD but more symptoms, ischemia, and outcomes appear linked to coronary reactivity which includes microvascular dysfunction. Novel risk factors can improve the Framingham risk score, including inflammatory markers and reproductive hormones, as well as noninvasive imaging and functional capacity measurements. Risk for women with obstructive CAD is elevated compared to men, yet women are less likely to receive guideline-indicated therapies. In the setting of non-ST elevation acute myocardial infarction, interventional strategies are equally effective in biomarker positive women and men, while conservative management is indicated for biomarker negative women. For women with evidence of ischemia but no obstructive CAD, anti-anginal and anti-ischemic therapies can improve symptoms, endothelial function, and quality of life; however trials evaluating adverse outcomes are needed. We hypothesize that women experience more adverse outcomes compared to men because obstructive CAD remains the current focus of therapeutic strategies. Continued research is indicated to devise therapeutic regimens to improve symptom burden and reduce risk in women with IHD. PMID:19833255

  4. Evolving Resistance Among Gram-positive Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Munita, Jose M.; Bayer, Arnold S.; Arias, Cesar A.

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial therapy is a key component of modern medical practice and a cornerstone for the development of complex clinical interventions in critically ill patients. Unfortunately, the increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance is now recognized as a major public health threat jeopardizing the care of thousands of patients worldwide. Gram-positive pathogens exhibit an immense genetic repertoire to adapt and develop resistance to virtually all antimicrobials clinically available. As more molecules become available to treat resistant gram-positive infections, resistance emerges as an evolutionary response. Thus, antimicrobial resistance has to be envisaged as an evolving phenomenon that demands constant surveillance and continuous efforts to identify emerging mechanisms of resistance to optimize the use of antibiotics and create strategies to circumvent this problem. Here, we will provide a broad perspective on the clinical aspects of antibiotic resistance in relevant gram-positive pathogens with emphasis on the mechanistic strategies used by these organisms to avoid being killed by commonly used antimicrobial agents. PMID:26316558

  5. Grooming relationships between breeding females and adult group members in cooperatively breeding moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax).

    PubMed

    Löttker, Petra; Huck, Maren; Zinner, Dietmar P; Heymann, Eckhard W

    2007-10-01

    Grooming is the most common form of affiliative behavior in primates that apart from hygienic and hedonistic benefits offers important social benefits for the performing individuals. This study examined grooming behavior in a cooperatively breeding primate species, characterized by single female breeding per group, polyandrous matings, dizygotic twinning, delayed offspring dispersal, and intensive helping behavior. In this system, breeding females profit from the presence of helpers but also helpers profit from staying in a group and assisting in infant care due to the accumulation of direct and indirect fitness benefits. We examined grooming relationships of breeding females with three classes of partners (breeding males, potentially breeding males, (sub)adult non-breeding offspring) during three reproductive phases (post-partum ovarian inactivity, ovarian activity, pregnancy) in two groups of wild moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). We investigated whether grooming can be used to regulate group size by either "pay-for-help" or "pay-to-stay" mechanisms. Grooming of breeding females with breeding males and non-breeding offspring was more intense and more balanced than with potentially breeding males, and most grooming occurred during the breeding females' pregnancies. Grooming was skewed toward more investment by the breeding females with breeding males during the phases of ovarian activity, and with potentially breeding males during pregnancies. Our results suggest that grooming might be a mechanism used by female moustached tamarins to induce mate association with the breeding male, and to induce certain individuals to stay in the group and help with infant care.

  6. [The evaluation of breed-specific defects in dog breeds from an animal welfare viewpoint].

    PubMed

    Peyer, N; Steiger, A

    1998-01-01

    Issues of breed defects such as morphology, physiology or behaviour in pure-breed dogs, are briefly discussed. Suggestions for various kinds of improvements are made, particularly concerning legislation, analysis of pedigree to avoid undesirable breed characteristics and what breeding clubs, individual breeders, judges, future dog owners and veterinarians could and should do about these problems; these are followed by summary conclusions.

  7. Beyond promiscuity: mate-choice commitments in social breeding

    PubMed Central

    Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2013-01-01

    Obligate eusociality with distinct caste phenotypes has evolved from strictly monogamous sub-social ancestors in ants, some bees, some wasps and some termites. This implies that no lineage reached the most advanced form of social breeding, unless helpers at the nest gained indirect fitness values via siblings that were identical to direct fitness via offspring. The complete lack of re-mating promiscuity equalizes sex-specific variances in reproductive success. Later, evolutionary developments towards multiple queen-mating retained lifetime commitment between sexual partners, but reduced male variance in reproductive success relative to female's, similar to the most advanced vertebrate cooperative breeders. Here, I (i) discuss some of the unique and highly peculiar mating system adaptations of eusocial insects; (ii) address ambiguities that remained after earlier reviews and extend the monogamy logic to the evolution of soldier castes; (iii) evaluate the evidence for indirect fitness benefits driving the dynamics of (in)vertebrate cooperative breeding, while emphasizing the fundamental differences between obligate eusociality and cooperative breeding; (iv) infer that lifetime commitment is a major driver towards higher levels of organization in bodies, colonies and mutualisms. I argue that evolutionary informative definitions of social systems that separate direct and indirect fitness benefits facilitate transparency when testing inclusive fitness theory. PMID:23339241

  8. What can be Learned from Silage Breeding Programs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Aaron J.; Coors, James G.

    Improving the quality of cellulosic ethanol feedstocks through breeding and genetic manipulation could significantly impact the economics of this industry. Attaining this will require comprehensive and rapid characterization of large numbers of samples. There are many similarities between improving corn silage quality for dairy production and improving feedstock quality for cellulosic ethanol. It was our objective to provide insight into what is needed for genetic improvement of cellulosic feedstocks by reviewing the development and operation of a corn silage breeding program. We discuss the evolving definition of silage quality and relate what we have learned about silage quality to what is needed for measuring and improving feedstock quality. In addition, repeatability estimates of corn stover traits are reported for a set of hybrids. Repeatability of theoretical ethanol potential measured by near-infrared spectroscopy is high, suggesting that this trait may be easily improved through breeding. Just as cell wall digestibility has been factored into the latest measurements of silage quality, conversion efficiency should be standardized and included in indices of feedstock quality to maximize overall, economical energy availability.

  9. Emperor Penguins Breeding on Iceshelves

    PubMed Central

    Fretwell, Peter T.; Trathan, Phil N.; Wienecke, Barbara; Kooyman, Gerald L.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new breeding behaviour discovered in emperor penguins; utilizing satellite and aerial-survey observations four emperor penguin breeding colonies have been recorded as existing on ice-shelves. Emperors have previously been considered as a sea-ice obligate species, with 44 of the 46 colonies located on sea-ice (the other two small colonies are on land). Of the colonies found on ice-shelves, two are newly discovered, and these have been recorded on shelves every season that they have been observed, the other two have been recorded both on ice-shelves and sea-ice in different breeding seasons. We conduct two analyses; the first using synthetic aperture radar data to assess why the largest of the four colonies, for which we have most data, locates sometimes on the shelf and sometimes on the sea-ice, and find that in years where the sea-ice forms late, the colony relocates onto the ice-shelf. The second analysis uses a number of environmental variables to test the habitat marginality of all emperor penguin breeding sites. We find that three of the four colonies reported in this study are in the most northerly, warmest conditions where sea-ice is often sub-optimal. The emperor penguin’s reliance on sea-ice as a breeding platform coupled with recent concerns over changed sea-ice patterns consequent on regional warming, has led to their designation as “near threatened” in the IUCN red list. Current climate models predict that future loss of sea-ice around the Antarctic coastline will negatively impact emperor numbers; recent estimates suggest a halving of the population by 2052. The discovery of this new breeding behaviour at marginal sites could mitigate some of the consequences of sea-ice loss; potential benefits and whether these are permanent or temporary need to be considered and understood before further attempts are made to predict the population trajectory of this iconic species. PMID:24416381

  10. Y chromosome polymorphism in various breeds of cattle (Bos taurus) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Stranzinger, Gerald F; Steiger, Dagmar; Kneubuhler, Josef; Hagger, Christian

    2007-01-01

    The evolutionary development of mammals involves mutations and fixations of chromosomal types. The Y chromosome polymorphism in cattle is important for the breeding strategy, since chromosomal incompatibilities in crossings result in fertility problems. In bulls of various breeds in Switzerland, data on chromosome status have been collected for over 20 years. Data from 7 years were analysed in this study through chromosome measurements and their normalization. Some highly significant differences were found between the 7 groups of breeds, especially between Holsteins and the original Swiss breeds Braunvieh and Simmental. Fleckvieh (purebred or crossbred) did not differ significantly from Black or Red Holsteins. The results were discussed with respect to fertility problems. The observed Y chromosome polymorphism should be taken into account in breeding, and research in this field should be continued.

  11. Limitations of captive breeding in endangered species recovery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Derrickson, S.R.; Beissenger, S.R.; Wiley, J.W.; Smith, T.B.; Toone, W.D.; Miller, B.

    1996-01-01

    The use of captive breeding in species recovery has grown enormously in recent years, but without a concurrent growth in appreciation of its limitations. Problems with (1) establishing self-sufficient captive populations, (2) poor success in reintroductions, (3.) high costs, (4) domestication, (5) preemption of other recovery techniques, (6) disease outbreaks, and (7) maintaining administrative continuity have all been significant. The technique has often been invoked prematurely and should not normally be employed before a careful field evaluation of costs and benefits of all conservation alternatives has been accomplished and a determination made that captive breeding is essential for species survival. Merely demonstrating that a species population is declining or bas fallen below what may be a minimum viable size does not constitute enough analysis to justify captive breeding as a recovery measure. Captive breeding should be reviewed as a last resort in species recovery and not a prophylactic or long-term solution because of the inexorable genetic and phenotypic changes that occur in captive environments. Captive breeding can play a crucial role in recovery of some species for witch effective alternatives are unavailable in the short term. However, it should not displace habitat and ecosystem protection nor should it be invoked in the absence of comprehensive efforts to maintain or restore populations in wild habitats. Zoological institutions with captive breeding programs should operate under carefully defined conditions of disease prevention and genetic/behavioral management. More important, these institutions should help preserve biodiversity through their capacities for public education, professional training, research, and support of in situ conservation efforts.

  12. Assortative mating and fragmentation within dog breeds

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background There are around 400 internationally recognized dog breeds in the world today, with a remarkable diversity in size, shape, color and behavior. Breeds are considered to be uniform groups with similar physical characteristics, shaped by selection rooted in human preferences. This has led to a large genetic difference between breeds and a large extent of linkage disequilibrium within breeds. These characteristics are important for association mapping of candidate genes for diseases and therefore make dogs ideal models for gene mapping of human disorders. However, genetic uniformity within breeds may not always be the case. We studied patterns of genetic diversity within 164 poodles and compared it to 133 dogs from eight other breeds. Results Our analyses revealed strong population structure within poodles, with differences among some poodle groups as pronounced as those among other well-recognized breeds. Pedigree analysis going three generations back in time confirmed that subgroups within poodles result from assortative mating imposed by breed standards as well as breeder preferences. Matings have not taken place at random or within traditionally identified size classes in poodles. Instead, a novel set of five poodle groups was identified, defined by combinations of size and color, which is not officially recognized by the kennel clubs. Patterns of genetic diversity in other breeds suggest that assortative mating leading to fragmentation may be a common feature within many dog breeds. Conclusion The genetic structure observed in poodles is the result of local mating patterns, implying that breed fragmentation may be different in different countries. Such pronounced structuring within dog breeds can increase the power of association mapping studies, but also represents a serious problem if ignored. In dog breeding, individuals are selected on the basis of morphology, behaviour, working or show purposes, as well as geographic population structure. The same

  13. What Technology? Reflections on Evolving Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Sharon

    2009-01-01

    Each year, the members of the EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Committee identify and research the evolving technologies that are having--or are predicted to have--the most direct impact on higher education institutions. The committee members choose the relevant topics, write white papers, and present their findings at the EDUCAUSE annual…

  14. Migratory double breeding in Neotropical migrant birds

    PubMed Central

    Rohwer, Sievert; Hobson, Keith A.; Rohwer, Vanya G.

    2009-01-01

    Neotropical migratory songbirds typically breed in temperate regions and then travel long distances to spend the majority of the annual cycle in tropical wintering areas. Using stable-isotope methodology, we provide quantitative evidence of dual breeding ranges for 5 species of Neotropical migrants. Each is well known to have a Neotropical winter range and a breeding range in the United States and Canada. However, after their first bout of breeding in the north, many individuals migrate hundreds to thousands of kilometers south in midsummer to breed a second time during the same summer in coastal west Mexico or Baja California Sur. They then migrate further south to their final wintering areas in the Neotropics. Our discovery of dual breeding ranges in Neotropical migrants reveals a hitherto unrealized flexibility in life-history strategies for these species and underscores that demographic models and conservation plans must consider dual breeding for these migrants. PMID:19858484

  15. Continuous Problem of Function Continuity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jayakody, Gaya; Zazkis, Rina

    2015-01-01

    We examine different definitions presented in textbooks and other mathematical sources for "continuity of a function at a point" and "continuous function" in the context of introductory level Calculus. We then identify problematic issues related to definitions of continuity and discontinuity: inconsistency and absence of…

  16. Capital and income breeding traits differentiate trophic match–mismatch dynamics in large herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Kerby, Jeffrey; Post, Eric

    2013-01-01

    For some species, climate change has altered environmental conditions away from those in which life-history strategies evolved. In such cases, if adaptation does not keep pace with these changes, existing life-history strategies may become maladaptive and lead to population declines. We use life-history theory, with a specific emphasis on breeding strategies, in the context of the trophic match–mismatch framework to form generalizable hypotheses about population-level consumer responses to climate-driven perturbations in resource availability. We first characterize the income and breeding traits of sympatric caribou and muskoxen populations in western Greenland, and then test trait-based hypotheses about the expected reproductive performance of each population during a period of high resource variability at that site. The immediate reproductive performance of income breeding caribou decreased with trophic mismatch. In contrast, capital breeding muskoxen were relatively unaffected by current breeding season resource variability, but their reproductive performance was sensitive to resource conditions from previous years. These responses matched our expectations about how capital and income breeding strategies should influence population susceptibility to phenological mismatch. We argue for a taxon-independent assessment of trophic mismatch vulnerability based on a life-history strategy perspective in the context of prevailing environmental conditions. PMID:23836789

  17. Short communication: lack of breed differences in responses of bovine spermatozoa to heat shock.

    PubMed

    Chandolia, R K; Reinertsen, E M; Hansen, P J

    1999-12-01

    An experiment was conducted to test whether the magnitude of effects of heat shock on spermatozoal function were less for thermotolerant breeds (Brahman and other breeds with Brahman influence) than for breeds that evolved in northern Europe (Angus and Holstein). Frozen spermatozoa were thawed, purified by Percoll gradient centrifugation and incubated at 38.5, 41, or 42 degrees C for 4 h. Sperm motility was then analyzed with a Hamilton Thorn Motility Analyzer. Heat shock reduced the percentage of sperm that were motile, mean track speed, and mean path velocity. There were no significant breed x temperature interactions for these traits. The mean frequency of tail beat tended to be reduced by heat shock in bulls of Brahman-influenced breeds and, to a lesser extent, in Brahman bulls, but it was not affected by heat shock in Angus or Holstein bulls. For no traits were there significant temperature x bull within breed interactions. Overall, results indicate that 1) heat shock reduces motility of bovine spermatozoa and 2) genetic effects are unlikely to be an important determinant of the function of ejaculated sperm following heat shock. PMID:10629808

  18. Effects of housing density on nasal pathology of breeding mice housed in individually ventilated cages.

    PubMed

    DiVincenti, Louis; Moorman-White, Diane; Bavlov, Nikolay; Garner, Michael; Wyatt, Jeff

    2012-03-01

    The 2011 edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals includes new recommendations for the amount of floor space that should be provided to breeding mice. When pairs or trios of continuously breeding mice are housed in shoebox cages, they may have less than this recommended amount of floor space. High housing densities may adversely affect animal health, for example, by compromising air quality inside the cage. Hence, some institutions are carefully reevaluating the microenvironments of breeding cages. The use of individually ventilated cages (IVCs) to house research mice allows for greater control over the quality of the cage microenvironment. The authors evaluated the microenvironments of shoebox cages in an IVC rack system housing breeding and non-breeding Swiss Webster mice. Ammonia concentrations were significantly higher in cages housing breeding trios with two litters. Histopathologic lesions attributable to inhaled irritants such as ammonia were found in mice housed in breeding pairs and trios. The authors conclude that the microenvironments of cages in an IVC rack system housing breeding pairs and trios may be detrimental to animal health.

  19. Traditional and modern plant breeding methods with examples in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Breseghello, Flavio; Coelho, Alexandre Siqueira Guedes

    2013-09-01

    Plant breeding can be broadly defined as alterations caused in plants as a result of their use by humans, ranging from unintentional changes resulting from the advent of agriculture to the application of molecular tools for precision breeding. The vast diversity of breeding methods can be simplified into three categories: (i) plant breeding based on observed variation by selection of plants based on natural variants appearing in nature or within traditional varieties; (ii) plant breeding based on controlled mating by selection of plants presenting recombination of desirable genes from different parents; and (iii) plant breeding based on monitored recombination by selection of specific genes or marker profiles, using molecular tools for tracking within-genome variation. The continuous application of traditional breeding methods in a given species could lead to the narrowing of the gene pool from which cultivars are drawn, rendering crops vulnerable to biotic and abiotic stresses and hampering future progress. Several methods have been devised for introducing exotic variation into elite germplasm without undesirable effects. Cases in rice are given to illustrate the potential and limitations of different breeding approaches.

  20. The world's evolving energy system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbert, M. King

    1981-11-01

    Human history can be divided into three distinct successive phases. The first, comprising all history prior to about 1800, was characterized by a small human population, a low level of energy consumption per capita, and very slow rates of change. The second, based upon the exploitation of the fossil fuels and the industrial metals, has been a period of continuous and spectacular exponential growth. However, because of the finite resources of the Earth's fossil fuels and metallic ores, the second phase can only be transitory. Most of the ores of the industrial metals will have been mined within the next century. The third phase, therefore, must again become one of the slow rates of growth, but initially at least with a large population and a high rate of energy consumption. Perhaps the foremost problem facing mankind at present is that of how to make the transition from the present exponential-growth phase to the near steady state of the future by as noncatastrophic a progression as possible.

  1. Data Publication: The Evolving Lifecyle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studwell, S.; Elliott, J.; Anderson, A.

    2015-12-01

    Datasets are recognized as valuable information entities in their own right that, now and in the future, need to be available for citation, discovery, retrieval and reuse. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) provides Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to DOE-funded data through partnership with DataCite. The Geothermal Data Repository (GDR) has been using OSTI's Data ID Service since summer, 2014 and is a success story for data publishing in several different ways. This presentation attributes the initial success to the insistence of DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office on detailed planning, robust data curation, and submitter participation. OSTI widely disseminates these data products across both U.S. and international platforms and continually enhances the Data ID Service to facilitate better linkage between published literature, supplementary data components, and the underlying datasets within the structure of the GDR repository. Issues of granularity in DOI assignment, the role of new federal government guidelines on public access to digital data, and the challenges still ahead will be addressed.

  2. Finding Aedes aegypti in a natural breeding site in an urban zone, Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Lima-Camara, Tamara Nunes; Urbinatti, Paulo Roberto; Chiaravalloti-Neto, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT This is the description of how nine Aedes aegypti larvae were found in a natural breeding site in the Pinheiros neighborhood, city of Sao Paulo, SP, Southeastern Brazil. The record was conducted in December 2014, during an entomological surveillance program of dengue virus vectors, with an active search of potential breeding sites, either artificial or natural. Finding Ae. aegypti larvae in a tree hole shows this species’ ability to use both artificial and natural environments as breeding sites and habitats, which points towards the importance of maintaining continuous surveillance on this mosquito in all kinds of water-holding containers. PMID:26982959

  3. Dataset of milk whey proteins of two indigenous greek goat breeds.

    PubMed

    Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios K; Katsafadou, Angeliki I; Pierros, Vasileios; Kontopodis, Evangelos; Fthenakis, George C; Arsenos, George; Karkabounas, Spyridon Ch; Tzora, Athina; Skoufos, Ioannis; Tsangaris, George Th

    2016-09-01

    Due to its rarity and unique biological traits, as well as its growing financial value, milk of dairy Greek small ruminants is continuously attracting interest from both the scientific community and industry. For the construction of the present dataset, cutting-edge proteomics methodologies were employed, in order to investigate and characterize, for the first time, the milk whey proteome from the two indigenous Greek goat breeds, Capra prisca and Skopelos. In total 822 protein groups were identified in milk whey of the two breeds, The present data are further discussed in the research article "Milk of Greek sheep and goat breeds; characterization by means of proteomics" [1].

  4. Dataset of milk whey proteins of two indigenous greek goat breeds.

    PubMed

    Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios K; Katsafadou, Angeliki I; Pierros, Vasileios; Kontopodis, Evangelos; Fthenakis, George C; Arsenos, George; Karkabounas, Spyridon Ch; Tzora, Athina; Skoufos, Ioannis; Tsangaris, George Th

    2016-09-01

    Due to its rarity and unique biological traits, as well as its growing financial value, milk of dairy Greek small ruminants is continuously attracting interest from both the scientific community and industry. For the construction of the present dataset, cutting-edge proteomics methodologies were employed, in order to investigate and characterize, for the first time, the milk whey proteome from the two indigenous Greek goat breeds, Capra prisca and Skopelos. In total 822 protein groups were identified in milk whey of the two breeds, The present data are further discussed in the research article "Milk of Greek sheep and goat breeds; characterization by means of proteomics" [1]. PMID:27508219

  5. Social networks: Evolving graphs with memory dependent edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grindrod, Peter; Parsons, Mark

    2011-10-01

    The plethora of digital communication technologies, and their mass take up, has resulted in a wealth of interest in social network data collection and analysis in recent years. Within many such networks the interactions are transient: thus those networks evolve over time. In this paper we introduce a class of models for such networks using evolving graphs with memory dependent edges, which may appear and disappear according to their recent history. We consider time discrete and time continuous variants of the model. We consider the long term asymptotic behaviour as a function of parameters controlling the memory dependence. In particular we show that such networks may continue evolving forever, or else may quench and become static (containing immortal and/or extinct edges). This depends on the existence or otherwise of certain infinite products and series involving age dependent model parameters. We show how to differentiate between the alternatives based on a finite set of observations. To test these ideas we show how model parameters may be calibrated based on limited samples of time dependent data, and we apply these concepts to three real networks: summary data on mobile phone use from a developing region; online social-business network data from China; and disaggregated mobile phone communications data from a reality mining experiment in the US. In each case we show that there is evidence for memory dependent dynamics, such as that embodied within the class of models proposed here.

  6. Sex-Specific Habitat Utilization and Differential Breeding Investments in Christmas Island Frigatebirds throughout the Breeding Cycle.

    PubMed

    Hennicke, Janos C; James, David J; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas) allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle.

  7. Evolving Approaches to the Ethical Management of Genomic Data

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Joy T.; Sun, Kathie Y.

    2013-01-01

    The ethical landscape in the field of genomics is rapidly shifting. Plummeting sequencing costs, along with ongoing advances in bioinformatics, now make it possible to generate an enormous volume of genomic data about vast numbers of people. The informational richness, complexity, and frequently uncertain meaning of these data, coupled with evolving norms surrounding the sharing of data and samples and persistent privacy concerns, have generated a range of approaches to the ethical management of genomic information. As calls increase for the expanded use of broad or even open consent, and as controversy grows about how best to handle incidental genomic findings, these approaches, informed by normative analysis and empirical data, will continue to evolve alongside the science. PMID:23453621

  8. The cooperative breeding perspective helps in pinning down when uniquely human evolutionary processes are necessary.

    PubMed

    Burkart, Judith Maria; van Schaik, Carel P

    2016-01-01

    The cultural group selection (CGS) approach provides a compelling explanation for recent changes in human societies, but has trouble explaining why our ancestors, rather than any other great ape, evolved into a hyper-cooperative niche. The cooperative breeding hypothesis can plug this gap and thus complement CGS, because recent comparative evidence suggests that it promoted proactive prosociality, social transmission, and communication in Pleistocene hominins. PMID:27562188

  9. [Progress and countermeasures of Dendrobium officinale breeding].

    PubMed

    Si, Jin-Ping; He, Bo-wei; Yu, Qiao-xian

    2013-02-01

    The standandized cultivation of Chinese medicinal materials is based on variety. With the rapid development of Dendrobium officinale industry and increasing demand of improved varieties, many studies have concentrated on the variety breeding of D. officinale and subsequently achieved remarkable success. This paper systematically expounds the research progress of D. officinale breeding, e. g. the collection and differentiated evaluation for germplasm, theory and practice for variety breeding, tissue culture and efficient production with low-carbon for germchit, and DNA molecular marker-assisted breeding, and then indicates the main problems of the current breeding of D. officinale. Furthermore, the priorities and keys for the further breeding of D. officinale have been pointed out. PMID:23713267

  10. Interactions between planets and evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shengbang, Qian; Zhongtao, Han; Fernández Lajús, E.; liying, Zhu; Wenping, Liao; Miloslav, Zejda; Linjia, Li; Voloshina, Irina; Liang, Liu; Jiajia., He

    2016-07-01

    Searching for planetary companions to evolved stars (e.g., white dwarfs (WD) and Cataclysmic Variables (CV)) can provide insight into the interaction between planets and evolved stars as well as on the ultimate fate of planets. We have monitored decades of CVs and their progenitors including some detached WD binaries since 2006 to search for planets orbiting these systems. In the present paper, we will show some observational results of circumbinary planets in orbits around CVs and their progenitors. Some of our findings include planets with the shortest distance to the central evolved binaries and a few multiple planetary systems orbiting binary stars. Finally, by comparing the observational properties of planetary companions to single WDs and WD binaries, the interaction between planets and evolved stars and the ultimate fate of planets are discussed.

  11. Neural mechanisms underlying the evolvability of behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Paul S.

    2011-01-01

    The complexity of nervous systems alters the evolvability of behaviour. Complex nervous systems are phylogenetically constrained; nevertheless particular species-specific behaviours have repeatedly evolved, suggesting a predisposition towards those behaviours. Independently evolved behaviours in animals that share a common neural architecture are generally produced by homologous neural structures, homologous neural pathways and even in the case of some invertebrates, homologous identified neurons. Such parallel evolution has been documented in the chromatic sensitivity of visual systems, motor behaviours and complex social behaviours such as pair-bonding. The appearance of homoplasious behaviours produced by homologous neural substrates suggests that there might be features of these nervous systems that favoured the repeated evolution of particular behaviours. Neuromodulation may be one such feature because it allows anatomically defined neural circuitry to be re-purposed. The developmental, genetic and physiological mechanisms that contribute to nervous system complexity may also bias the evolution of behaviour, thereby affecting the evolvability of species-specific behaviour. PMID:21690127

  12. Endocrine and testicular changes in a short-day seasonally breeding bird, the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), in southwestern Australia.

    PubMed

    Malecki, I A; Martin, G B; O'Malley, P J; Meyer, G T; Talbot, R T; Sharp, P J

    1998-10-01

    Seasonal changes in testicular morphology and blood plasma concentrations of LH, testosterone, and prolactin are described for captive male emus in southwestern Australia. Testicular mass and testicular testosterone did not differ between the non-breeding (spring-summer) and the breeding (autumn-winter) seasons. Nevertheless, the testes obtained in the breeding season (May and August) were nearly two fold greater in mass than those collected in the non-breeding season (October and February). The highest testicular concentrations of testosterone were observed in February and lowest in October, while the values during the breeding season were intermediate. The patterns of histological changes in the testes also indicate that emus breed over the autumn-winter months. Tubule diameter was larger in the breeding season than in the non-breeding season, whereas the relative volume of the interstitium was larger in the non-breeding and smaller in the breeding season. Moreover, during the autumn and winter months, plasma LH and testosterone concentrations were high. Outside this period, in spring and summer, the concentrations of these hormones were low. Prolactin concentrations rose around the winter solstice, after the initial increases in plasma LH and testosterone. The end of the breeding season, in early spring, was marked by a gradual decrease in plasma LH concentrations but a rapid fall in testosterone concentrations. Prolactin concentrations continued to increase and peaked near the spring equinox, several weeks after the breeding season ended, and then decreased to reach baseline values by mid-summer. These testicular and endocrine changes are consistent with observations that the emu is a short-day breeder in southwestern Australia. Reproductive activity in the male begins soon after the summer solstice, well in advance of the development of suitable breeding conditions, and is then terminated in spring before food resources become limited by the onset of the dry

  13. Charge breeding of radioactive ions with EBIS and EBIT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenander, F.

    2010-10-01

    A charge state breeder, which transforms externally injected singly charged ions to a higher charge state q+, is an important tool which has applications within atomic, nuclear and even particle physics. The charge breeding concept of radioactive ions has already been demonstrated at REX-ISOLDE/CERN with the use of an Electron beam Ion Source (EBIS) and at several facilities employing Electron Resonance Cyclotron Ion Sources (ECRIS). As will be demonstrated in this paper, EBIS and Electron Beam Ion Traps (EBIT), are well suited for the task as they are capable of delivering clean, highly charged beams within a short transformation time. The increasing demand for highly charged ions of all kind of elements and isotopes, stable and radioactive, to be used for low-energy experiments such as TITAN at TRIUMF and MATS at FAIR, but also for post-acceleration to higher energies, is now pushing the development of the breeders. The next challenge will be to satisfy the needs, for example space-charge capacity, of the second generation radioactive beam facilities presently under construction or in the design stage, such as the MSU re-accelerator (ReA3), SPIRAL2, SPES and later on EURISOL. Radioactive trap facilities will also require high performance breeders geared towards rapid breeding times. The requirements and the critical issues of the breeding concept will be discussed and a review of the different facilities, operational and planned, will be given. The paper does furthermore feature a summary of the extensive breeding experience gained under operational conditions at REX-ISOLDE, including results from dedicated beam cleaning tests, isotope production using in-trap decay, high-current and continuous ion injection into the breeder, and closed-shell breeding.

  14. Recovery of breeding success in a population of brown pelicans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mendenhall, V.M.; Prouty, R.M.

    1978-01-01

    Breeding populations of the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) declined during the 1960's on both east and west coasts of the United States. In 1969, colonies in South Carolina fledged an average of 0.78 young per nest, and those in California only 0.004. The minimum production for population stability has been estimated to be 1.0 to 1.2 fledglings per nest. The South Carolina population may have decreased by as much as 80% during the previous decade. Organochlorine pesticides were implicated as a cause of population decline. Eggs from South Carolina contained an average of 5.4 parts per million (ppm) of DDE (wet weight basis) in 1969, and those from California about 70 ppm wet weight. Shells of South Carolina brown pelican eggs were,17% thinner than normal, and those from California were 30% thinner, compared with shells of eggs laid before DDE was introduced in 1947; crushed eggs were common in the colonies. DDE was the primary cause of shell thinning, but dieldrin was also associated with breeding failure, and both may be embryotoxic. Brown pelicans also declined in Louisiana and Texas during this period, in association with shell thinning and relatively high organochlorine levels. Eggs of pelicans in Florida, however, contained lower residues, and numbers have remained stable. In 1969, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge initiated an intensive study of the South Carolina population. Size of the breeding colonies, production, eggshell thickness, and organochlorine residues were monitored each year. Between 1969 and 1976 organochlorines in the eggs declined gradually, reproductive success improved, and the breeding population doubled. We have continued to monitor the South Carolina brown pelican population. Results for 1977 and 1978 are presented here, with an evaluation of the significance and possible causes of current breeding success.

  15. Implementation of Genomic Prediction in Lolium perenne (L.) Breeding Populations

    PubMed Central

    Grinberg, Nastasiya F.; Lovatt, Alan; Hegarty, Matt; Lovatt, Andi; Skøt, Kirsten P.; Kelly, Rhys; Blackmore, Tina; Thorogood, Danny; King, Ross D.; Armstead, Ian; Powell, Wayne; Skøt, Leif

    2016-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the most widely grown forage grasses in temperate agriculture. In order to maintain and increase its usage as forage in livestock agriculture, there is a continued need for improvement in biomass yield, quality, disease resistance, and seed yield. Genetic gain for traits such as biomass yield has been relatively modest. This has been attributed to its long breeding cycle, and the necessity to use population based breeding methods. Thanks to recent advances in genotyping techniques there is increasing interest in genomic selection from which genomically estimated breeding values are derived. In this paper we compare the classical RRBLUP model with state-of-the-art machine learning techniques that should yield themselves easily to use in GS and demonstrate their application to predicting quantitative traits in a breeding population of L. perenne. Prediction accuracies varied from 0 to 0.59 depending on trait, prediction model and composition of the training population. The BLUP model produced the highest prediction accuracies for most traits and training populations. Forage quality traits had the highest accuracies compared to yield related traits. There appeared to be no clear pattern to the effect of the training population composition on the prediction accuracies. The heritability of the forage quality traits was generally higher than for the yield related traits, and could partly explain the difference in accuracy. Some population structure was evident in the breeding populations, and probably contributed to the varying effects of training population on the predictions. The average linkage disequilibrium between adjacent markers ranged from 0.121 to 0.215. Higher marker density and larger training population closely related with the test population are likely to improve the prediction accuracy. PMID:26904088

  16. The Breeding Bird Survey, 1966

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.; Van Velzen, W.T.

    1967-01-01

    A Breeding Bird Survey of a large section on North America was conducted during June 1966. Cooperators ran a total of 585 Survey routes in 26 eastern States and 4 Canadian Provinces. Future coverage of established routes will enable changes in the abundance of North American breeding birds to be measured. Routes are selected at random on the basis of one-degree blocks of latitude and longitude. Each 241/2-mile route, with 3-minute stops spaced one-half mile apart, is driven by automobile. All birds heard or seen at the stops are recorded on special forms and the data are then transferred to machine punch cards. The average number of birds per route is tabulated by State, along with the total number of each species and the percent of routes and stops upon which they were recorded. Maps are presented showing the range and abundance of selected species. Also, a year-to-year comparison is made of populations of selected species on Maryland routes in 1965 and 1966.

  17. Breed structure of Senepol cattle.

    PubMed

    Williams, A R; Hupp, H D; Thompson, C E; Grimes, L W

    1988-01-01

    Data were collected by the Virgin Islands Beef Cattle Improvement Program and the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station staff to establish the breed structure of the Senepol cattle. Data for the analysis were limited to the two Virgin Islands Senepol breeders with the most complete and largest set of records, representing approximately 65% of the entire Senepol population. Inbreeding (F) and coancestry relationship coefficients (rAB) and the theoretical inbreeding (FT) were determined from each data set and for the combined data from both farms, for each year, ranging from 1947 to 1984 for Annaly Farms, and from 1967 to 1984 for Castle Nugent Farm. The data sets for both farms were examined for the possibility of separation into families. Actual F within the Senepol population was relatively low, averaging less than 1.00%. Some separation into families occurred within Annaly Farms' cattle. The F and FT decreased (1.6 to 0.7% and 1.0 to 0.2%, respectively) as population numbers increased. The low F was accomplished through the breeding programs and exchanges of animals between farms on the island. PMID:3367044

  18. Fish genome manipulation and directional breeding.

    PubMed

    Ye, Ding; Zhu, ZuoYan; Sun, YongHua

    2015-02-01

    Aquaculture is one of the fastest developing agricultural industries worldwide. One of the most important factors for sustainable aquaculture is the development of high performing culture strains. Genome manipulation offers a powerful method to achieve rapid and directional breeding in fish. We review the history of fish breeding methods based on classical genome manipulation, including polyploidy breeding and nuclear transfer. Then, we discuss the advances and applications of fish directional breeding based on transgenic technology and recently developed genome editing technologies. These methods offer increased efficiency, precision and predictability in genetic improvement over traditional methods.

  19. Chemical classification of cattle. 1. Breed groups.

    PubMed

    Baker, C M; Manwell, C

    1980-01-01

    From approximately 1000 papers with data on protein polymorphism in some 216 breeds of cattle, 10 polymorphic proteins were compared in means and variances of gene frequencies (arcsin p 1/2) for ten well-recognized breed groups for 196 of the breeds. The polymorphic proteins were alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, caseins (alpha s1, beta and chi), serum albumin, transferrin, haemoglobin, amylase I and carbonic anhydrase II. The breed groups were North European, Pied Lowland, European Red brachyceros, Channel Island brachyceros, Upland brachyceros, primigenius-brachyceros mixed, primigenius, Indian Zebu, African Humped (with Zebu admixture), and African Humped (Sanga). The coherence within groups and the differences between groups are often impressive. Only carbonic anhydrase II fails to differentiate at least some of the major breed groups. In some cases paradoxical distributions of rare genetic variants can be explained by a more detailed inspection of breed history. The chemical data support the morphological and geographical divisions of cattle into major breed groups. There are three distinct but related brachyceros groups; for some polymorphisms the two Channel Island breeds, the Jersey and the Guernsey, are quite divergent. Although some authorities have considered the Pied Lowland as primigenius, it is a very distinct breed group.

  20. Genomics-assisted breeding in fruit trees.

    PubMed

    Iwata, Hiroyoshi; Minamikawa, Mai F; Kajiya-Kanegae, Hiromi; Ishimori, Motoyuki; Hayashi, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Recent advancements in genomic analysis technologies have opened up new avenues to promote the efficiency of plant breeding. Novel genomics-based approaches for plant breeding and genetics research, such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection (GS), are useful, especially in fruit tree breeding. The breeding of fruit trees is hindered by their long generation time, large plant size, long juvenile phase, and the necessity to wait for the physiological maturity of the plant to assess the marketable product (fruit). In this article, we describe the potential of genomics-assisted breeding, which uses these novel genomics-based approaches, to break through these barriers in conventional fruit tree breeding. We first introduce the molecular marker systems and whole-genome sequence data that are available for fruit tree breeding. Next we introduce the statistical methods for biparental linkage and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping as well as GWAS and GS. We then review QTL mapping, GWAS, and GS studies conducted on fruit trees. We also review novel technologies for rapid generation advancement. Finally, we note the future prospects of genomics-assisted fruit tree breeding and problems that need to be overcome in the breeding.

  1. Genomics-assisted breeding in fruit trees

    PubMed Central

    Iwata, Hiroyoshi; Minamikawa, Mai F.; Kajiya-Kanegae, Hiromi; Ishimori, Motoyuki; Hayashi, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Recent advancements in genomic analysis technologies have opened up new avenues to promote the efficiency of plant breeding. Novel genomics-based approaches for plant breeding and genetics research, such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection (GS), are useful, especially in fruit tree breeding. The breeding of fruit trees is hindered by their long generation time, large plant size, long juvenile phase, and the necessity to wait for the physiological maturity of the plant to assess the marketable product (fruit). In this article, we describe the potential of genomics-assisted breeding, which uses these novel genomics-based approaches, to break through these barriers in conventional fruit tree breeding. We first introduce the molecular marker systems and whole-genome sequence data that are available for fruit tree breeding. Next we introduce the statistical methods for biparental linkage and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping as well as GWAS and GS. We then review QTL mapping, GWAS, and GS studies conducted on fruit trees. We also review novel technologies for rapid generation advancement. Finally, we note the future prospects of genomics-assisted fruit tree breeding and problems that need to be overcome in the breeding. PMID:27069395

  2. Breeding without Breeding: Is a Complete Pedigree Necessary for Efficient Breeding?

    PubMed Central

    El-Kassaby, Yousry A.; Cappa, Eduardo P.; Liewlaksaneeyanawin, Cherdsak; Klápště, Jaroslav; Lstibůrek, Milan

    2011-01-01

    Complete pedigree information is a prerequisite for modern breeding and the ranking of parents and offspring for selection and deployment decisions. DNA fingerprinting and pedigree reconstruction can substitute for artificial matings, by allowing parentage delineation of naturally produced offspring. Here, we report on the efficacy of a breeding concept called “Breeding without Breeding” (BwB) that circumvents artificial matings, focusing instead on a subset of randomly sampled, maternally known but paternally unknown offspring to delineate their paternal parentage. We then generate the information needed to rank those offspring and their paternal parents, using a combination of complete (full-sib: FS) and incomplete (half-sib: HS) analyses of the constructed pedigrees. Using a random sample of wind-pollinated offspring from 15 females (seed donors), growing in a 41-parent western larch population, BwB is evaluated and compared to two commonly used testing methods that rely on either incomplete (maternal half-sib, open-pollinated: OP) or complete (FS) pedigree designs. BwB produced results superior to those from the incomplete design and virtually identical to those from the complete pedigree methods. The combined use of complete and incomplete pedigree information permitted evaluating all parents, both maternal and paternal, as well as all offspring, a result that could not have been accomplished with either the OP or FS methods alone. We also discuss the optimum experimental setting, in terms of the proportion of fingerprinted offspring, the size of the assembled maternal and paternal half-sib families, the role of external gene flow, and selfing, as well as the number of parents that could be realistically tested with BwB. PMID:21991342

  3. Use of animal breeds and breeding to overcome the incidence of grass tetany: a review.

    PubMed

    Greene, L W; Baker, J F; Hardt, P F

    1989-12-01

    British breeds of cattle are not so effective as Zebu in extracting nutrients from low-quality roughages, and these breeds differ in their nutrient metabolism and animal physiology. Breeds of cattle may differ in their requirements for Mg. Brahman cows are less susceptible to death from disease and metabolic disorders than are British breeds of cattle, whereas cows with 50% or greater dairy breeding (Holstein and Jersey) are more susceptible than British or Brahman breeds when maintained in beef production herds. Brahman or Brahman crossbred cows are less susceptible than other breeds to metabolic disorders such as grass tetany. Magnesium absorption has been shown to be greater in Brahman than in Jersey, Holstein and Hereford cows. These differences in the efficiency of Mg absorption between different breeds of cows may be due to genetic variation in the absorptive mechanisms of Mg, in feeding behavior, in gastrointestinal tract motility, in gastrointestinal tract fill or to some combination. PMID:2693421

  4. Assessments of tritium-breeding requirements and breeding potential for the STARFIRE/DEMO design

    SciTech Connect

    Jung, J.; Abdou, M.

    1983-03-01

    This paper presents assessments of tritium-breeding requirements and breeding potential for the STARFIRE/DEMO design. The assessment of breeding requirement is described based on two design considerations; i.e.: (1) tritium inventory and doubling requirement; and (2) computational uncertainties associated with the breeding calculation. The lithium-containing materials considered include: solid Li/sub 2/O and LiAlO/sub 2/ and liquid lithium and 17 Li-83Pb.

  5. Comparison of molecular breeding values based on within- and across-breed training in beef cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Although the efficacy of genomic predictors based on within-breed training looks promising, it is necessary to develop and evaluate across-breed predictors for the technology to be fully applied in the beef industry. The efficacies of genomic predictors trained in one breed and utilized ...

  6. The value of resequence data for poultry breeding: a primary layer breeder perspective.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Janet E

    2014-02-01

    Poultry breeding companies are facing a new paradigm. Since 2004, extensive resources have been developed to increase understanding of the fundamental biology of the chicken. The chicken genome has been sequenced and revised twice, millions of novel DNA variants have been identified, and new tools have been created that allow rapid and inexpensive detection of these DNA variations. These developments have led to the establishment of molecular-based breeding programs within major poultry breeding companies that are revolutionizing the primary poultry breeding industries. Costs of sequencing continue to drop and are predicted to eventually reach the point where it is feasible to sequence the entire genome of elite birds before selection. There are multiple challenges to be resolved before this information can be fully incorporated into a breeding program. These include handling and analyzing the extremely large data sets generated, understanding which genes, variants, or both are relevant for commercial production traits, development of new bio-informatic tools, and integration of molecular information with traditional breeding programs. The novel variation identified within elite commercial lines will lead to enhancements in commercial breeding programs. Applications of this information include whole genomic selection, parentage identification, trait association studies, and quality control. PMID:24570474

  7. The value of resequence data for poultry breeding: a primary layer breeder perspective.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Janet E

    2014-02-01

    Poultry breeding companies are facing a new paradigm. Since 2004, extensive resources have been developed to increase understanding of the fundamental biology of the chicken. The chicken genome has been sequenced and revised twice, millions of novel DNA variants have been identified, and new tools have been created that allow rapid and inexpensive detection of these DNA variations. These developments have led to the establishment of molecular-based breeding programs within major poultry breeding companies that are revolutionizing the primary poultry breeding industries. Costs of sequencing continue to drop and are predicted to eventually reach the point where it is feasible to sequence the entire genome of elite birds before selection. There are multiple challenges to be resolved before this information can be fully incorporated into a breeding program. These include handling and analyzing the extremely large data sets generated, understanding which genes, variants, or both are relevant for commercial production traits, development of new bio-informatic tools, and integration of molecular information with traditional breeding programs. The novel variation identified within elite commercial lines will lead to enhancements in commercial breeding programs. Applications of this information include whole genomic selection, parentage identification, trait association studies, and quality control.

  8. 2009 Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) Evolved Gas Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; McAdam, A.; Eigenbrode, J.; Steele, A.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) continued its multi-year campaign in August 2009 to study selected sedimentary and igneous environments in this geological diverse archipelago using a variety of measurement techniques and protocols that are candidates for future Mars missions. The X-ray diffraction mineralogical and evolved gas analysis (EGA) employed during the AMASE-2009 campaign closely mimicked similar experiments that are planned for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Field instruments similar to those under development for the ESA ExoMars or other rover missions provided imaging, spectroscopic, and subsurface sounding data. A variety of microbiology and field life detection techniques rounded out the AMASE-2009 analytical tools. The evolved gas mass spectrometer utilized on AMASE-2009 was designed to model elements of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on MSL. Powdered rock samples were heated from ambient to 1000 C in a helium stream and evolved gases continuously analyzed by a mass spectrometer. A continued focus of AMASE-2009 was analysis of carbonates from the Spitsbergen Sverrefjell volcano [1]. The similarity of macromolecular carbon (MMC) associated with magnetite in carbonate globules found in an ice cave in Sverrefjell to those studied in the Mars meteorite ALH84001 has been a motivation for their intensive study. The MMC associated with these carbonates appears to have been formed abiotically [2] following the eruption of the Sverrefjell volcano into glacial ice. The AMASE-2008 EGA studies of microsampled carbonate layers are described and the ability and limitations of these in situ tools to distinguish biomarkers. [1] H. Amundsen, Nature 327, 692-695 (1987). [2] A. Steele et al., Meteoritics and Planetary Science 42, 1549-1566 (2007) Acknowledgement: Support of this work is from the NASA ASTEP program with A. Steele AMASE PI and H. Amundsen Expedition lead.

  9. Breeding Experience, Alternative Reproductive Strategies and Reproductive Success in a Captive Colony of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Baran, Nicole M.; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches. PMID:24587051

  10. Breeding experience, alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success in a captive colony of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches.

  11. 78 FR 45494 - Plant Breeding Listening Session meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-29

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Plant Breeding Listening Session meeting ACTION: Notice of a Plant Breeding... Agriculture (USDA) announces a Plant Breeding Listening Session stakeholder meeting for all interested plant breeding and cultivar development stakeholders. DATES: The Plant Breeding Listening Session will be...

  12. Evolving Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Salama, April K.S.

    2013-01-01

    Metastatic melanoma remains a difficult disease to treat, and long term survivors are rare. Over the past few years, however, breakthroughs in both immunotherapy as well as targeted agents have had a tremendous impact on patients diagnosed with this disease. This review summarizes recent advances in systemic therapies for melanoma, including immune modulators directed against cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death-1 (PD-1), as well as a number of targeted agents. These approaches hold great promise as the landscape of therapeutic options for advanced melanoma continues to evolve. PMID:23843723

  13. Child sexual abuse and forensic psychiatry: evolving and controversial issues.

    PubMed

    Burton, K; Myers, W C

    1992-01-01

    Child sexual abuse has received growing attention in recent years, and the topic continues to spark controversy among mental health and legal professionals as well as in the popular media. This paper will review the concept of child sexual abuse, cover relevant definitions, address the clinician's role, and then will address the principal evolving and controversial areas. These areas include psychic damages, false allegations, improper investigatory techniques, use of anatomical dolls, admissibility of expert testimony, hearsay testimony, and the competency of minors to testify. PMID:1482798

  14. Breeding system evolution influenced the geographic expansion and diversification of the core Corvoidea (Aves: Passeriformes).

    PubMed

    Marki, Petter Z; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Jønsson, Knud A; Rahbek, Carsten; Fjeldså, Jon; Kennedy, Jonathan D

    2015-07-01

    Birds vary greatly in their life-history strategies, including their breeding systems, which range from brood parasitism to a system with multiple nonbreeding helpers at the nest. By far the most common arrangement, however, is where both parents participate in raising the young. The traits associated with parental care have been suggested to affect dispersal propensity and lineage diversification, but to date tests of this potential relationship at broad temporal and spatial scales have been limited. Here, using data from a globally distributed group of corvoid birds in concordance with state-dependent speciation and extinction models, we suggest that pair breeding is associated with elevated speciation rates. Estimates of transition between breeding systems imply that cooperative lineages frequently evolve biparental care, whereas pair breeders rarely become cooperative. We further highlight that these groups have differences in their spatial distributions, with pair breeders overrepresented on islands, and cooperative breeders mainly found on continents. Finally, we find that speciation rates appear to be significantly higher on islands compared to continents. These results imply that the transition from cooperative breeding to pair breeding was likely a significant contributing factor facilitating dispersal across tropical archipelagos, and subsequent world-wide phylogenetic expansion among the core Corvoidea.

  15. Sex, long life and the evolutionary transition to cooperative breeding in birds

    PubMed Central

    Downing, Philip A.; Cornwallis, Charlie K.; Griffin, Ashleigh S.

    2015-01-01

    Long life is a typical feature of individuals living in cooperative societies. One explanation is that group living lowers mortality, which selects for longer life. Alternatively, long life may make the evolution of cooperation more likely by ensuring a long breeding tenure, making helping behaviour and queuing for breeding positions worthwhile. The benefit of queuing will, however, depend on whether individuals gain indirect fitness benefits while helping, which is determined by female promiscuity. Where promiscuity is high and therefore the indirect fitness benefits of helping are low, cooperation can still be favoured by an even longer life span. We present the results of comparative analyses designed to test the likelihood of a causal relationship between longevity and cooperative breeding by reconstructing ancestral states of cooperative breeding across birds, and by examining the effect of female promiscuity on the relationship between these two traits. We found that long life makes the evolution of cooperation more likely and that promiscuous cooperative species are exceptionally long lived. These results make sense of promiscuity in cooperative breeders and clarify the importance of life-history traits in the evolution of cooperative breeding, illustrating that cooperation can evolve via the combination of indirect and direct fitness benefits. PMID:26400743

  16. Sex, long life and the evolutionary transition to cooperative breeding in birds.

    PubMed

    Downing, Philip A; Cornwallis, Charlie K; Griffin, Ashleigh S

    2015-10-01

    Long life is a typical feature of individuals living in cooperative societies. One explanation is that group living lowers mortality, which selects for longer life. Alternatively, long life may make the evolution of cooperation more likely by ensuring a long breeding tenure, making helping behaviour and queuing for breeding positions worthwhile. The benefit of queuing will, however, depend on whether individuals gain indirect fitness benefits while helping, which is determined by female promiscuity. Where promiscuity is high and therefore the indirect fitness benefits of helping are low, cooperation can still be favoured by an even longer life span. We present the results of comparative analyses designed to test the likelihood of a causal relationship between longevity and cooperative breeding by reconstructing ancestral states of cooperative breeding across birds, and by examining the effect of female promiscuity on the relationship between these two traits. We found that long life makes the evolution of cooperation more likely and that promiscuous cooperative species are exceptionally long lived. These results make sense of promiscuity in cooperative breeders and clarify the importance of life-history traits in the evolution of cooperative breeding, illustrating that cooperation can evolve via the combination of indirect and direct fitness benefits.

  17. When mothers need others: The impact of hominin life history evolution on cooperative breeding.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Karen L; Otárola-Castillo, Erik

    2015-07-01

    The evolution of cooperative breeding is particularly complex in humans because many other traits that directly affect parental care (shorter birth intervals, increased offspring survivorship, juvenile dependence, and older ages at dispersal) also emerge during the Pleistocene. If human cooperative breeding is ancient, it likely evolved in a hominin lacking a fully modern life history. However, the impact that changing life history traits has on parental care and cooperative breeding has not been analytically investigated. We develop an exploratory model to simulate an economic problem that would have arisen over the course of hominin life history evolution to identify those transitions that produced the strongest pressures for cooperative childrearing. The model generates two central predictions. First, help within maternal-offspring groups can support early changes in juvenile dependence, dispersal age, birth intervals, and fertility. If so, maternal-juvenile cooperation may be an important but understudied step in the evolution of human cooperative breeding. Second, pressure to recruit adult cooperation is most pronounced under more derived conditions of late dispersal and later ages of juvenile dependence, with a strong interaction at short birth intervals. Our findings indicate that changes in life history traits that affect parental care are critical in considering background selective forces that shaped the evolution of cooperative breeding.

  18. Plant Breeding: Surprisingly, Less Sex Is Better.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Peter J; Rigola, Diana; Schauer, Stephen E

    2016-02-01

    Introduction of apomixis, asexual reproduction through seeds, into crop species has the potential to dramatically transform plant breeding. A new study demonstrates that traits can be stably transferred between generations in newly produced apomictic lines, and heralds a breeding revolution needed to increase food production for the growing planet. PMID:26859270

  19. Mean EPDs reported by different breeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beef cattle genetic evaluations result in expected progeny differences (EPDs), which can be used to select animals for growth, productivity, carcass composition, and, most recently, economic value. Breed averages allow producers to compare the genetic value of potential breeding stock against their ...

  20. Plant Breeding: Surprisingly, Less Sex Is Better.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Peter J; Rigola, Diana; Schauer, Stephen E

    2016-02-01

    Introduction of apomixis, asexual reproduction through seeds, into crop species has the potential to dramatically transform plant breeding. A new study demonstrates that traits can be stably transferred between generations in newly produced apomictic lines, and heralds a breeding revolution needed to increase food production for the growing planet.

  1. Dataset of milk whey proteins of three indigenous Greek sheep breeds.

    PubMed

    Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios K; Katsafadou, Angeliki I; Pierros, Vasileios; Kontopodis, Evangelos; Fthenakis, George C; Arsenos, George; Karkabounas, Spyridon Ch; Tzora, Athina; Skoufos, Ioannis; Tsangaris, George Th

    2016-09-01

    The importance and unique biological traits, as well as the growing financial value, of milk from small Greek ruminants is continuously attracting interest from both the scientific community and industry. In this regard the construction of a reference dataset of the milk of the Greek sheep breeds is of great interest. In order to obtain such a dataset we employed cutting-edge proteomics methodologies to investigate and characterize, the proteome of milk from the three indigenous Greek sheep breeds Mpoutsko, Karagouniko and Chios. In total, more than 1300 protein groups were identified in milk whey from these breeds, reporting for the first time the most detailed proteome dataset of this precious biological material. The present results are further discussed in the research paper "Milk of Greek sheep and goat breeds; characterization by means of proteomics" (Anagnostopoulos et al. 2016) [1]. PMID:27508236

  2. Dataset of milk whey proteins of three indigenous Greek sheep breeds.

    PubMed

    Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios K; Katsafadou, Angeliki I; Pierros, Vasileios; Kontopodis, Evangelos; Fthenakis, George C; Arsenos, George; Karkabounas, Spyridon Ch; Tzora, Athina; Skoufos, Ioannis; Tsangaris, George Th

    2016-09-01

    The importance and unique biological traits, as well as the growing financial value, of milk from small Greek ruminants is continuously attracting interest from both the scientific community and industry. In this regard the construction of a reference dataset of the milk of the Greek sheep breeds is of great interest. In order to obtain such a dataset we employed cutting-edge proteomics methodologies to investigate and characterize, the proteome of milk from the three indigenous Greek sheep breeds Mpoutsko, Karagouniko and Chios. In total, more than 1300 protein groups were identified in milk whey from these breeds, reporting for the first time the most detailed proteome dataset of this precious biological material. The present results are further discussed in the research paper "Milk of Greek sheep and goat breeds; characterization by means of proteomics" (Anagnostopoulos et al. 2016) [1].

  3. Antimicrobial strategies in burying beetles breeding on carrion.

    PubMed

    Rozen, D E; Engelmoer, D J P; Smiseth, P T

    2008-11-18

    Rich and ephemeral resources, such as carrion, are a source of intense interspecific competition among animal scavengers and microbial decomposers. Janzen [Janzen DH (1977) Am Nat 111:691-713] hypothesized that microbes should be selected to defend such resources by rendering them unpalatable or toxic to animals, and that animals should evolve counterstrategies of avoidance or detoxification. Despite the ubiquity of animal-microbe competition, there are few tests of Janzen's hypothesis, in particular with respect to antimicrobial strategies in animals. Here, we use the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides, a species that obligately breeds on carcasses of small vertebrates, to investigate the role of parental care and avoidance as antimicrobial strategies. We manipulated competition between beetle larvae and microbes by providing beetles with either fresh carcasses or old ones that had reached advanced putrefaction. We found evidence for a strong detrimental effect of microbial competition on beetle reproductive success and larval growth. We also found that parental care can largely compensate for these negative effects, and that when given a choice between old and fresh carcasses, parents tended to choose to rear their broods on the latter. We conclude that parental care and carcass avoidance can function as antimicrobial strategies in this species. Our findings extend the range of behavioral counterstrategies used by animals during competition with microbes, and generalize the work of Janzen to include competition between microbes and insects that rely on carrion as an obligate resource for breeding and not just as an opportunistic meal.

  4. Metanetworks of artificially evolved regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danacı, Burçin; Erzan, Ayşe

    2016-04-01

    We study metanetworks arising in genotype and phenotype spaces, in the context of a model population of Boolean graphs evolved under selection for short dynamical attractors. We define the adjacency matrix of a graph as its genotype, which gets mutated in the course of evolution, while its phenotype is its set of dynamical attractors. Metanetworks in the genotype and phenotype spaces are formed, respectively, by genetic proximity and by phenotypic similarity, the latter weighted by the sizes of the basins of attraction of the shared attractors. We find that evolved populations of Boolean graphs form tree-like giant clusters in genotype space, while random populations of Boolean graphs are typically so far removed from each other genetically that they cannot form a metanetwork. In phenotype space, the metanetworks of evolved populations are super robust both under the elimination of weak connections and random removal of nodes.

  5. Reliability of genetic networks is evolvable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braunewell, Stefan; Bornholdt, Stefan

    2008-06-01

    Control of the living cell functions with remarkable reliability despite the stochastic nature of the underlying molecular networks—a property presumably optimized by biological evolution. We ask here to what extent the ability of a stochastic dynamical network to produce reliable dynamics is an evolvable trait. Using an evolutionary algorithm based on a deterministic selection criterion for the reliability of dynamical attractors, we evolve networks of noisy discrete threshold nodes. We find that, starting from any random network, reliability of the attractor landscape can often be achieved with only a few small changes to the network structure. Further, the evolvability of networks toward reliable dynamics while retaining their function is investigated and a high success rate is found.

  6. JavaGenes: Evolving Graphs with Crossover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Globus, Al; Atsatt, Sean; Lawton, John; Wipke, Todd

    2000-01-01

    Genetic algorithms usually use string or tree representations. We have developed a novel crossover operator for a directed and undirected graph representation, and used this operator to evolve molecules and circuits. Unlike strings or trees, a single point in the representation cannot divide every possible graph into two parts, because graphs may contain cycles. Thus, the crossover operator is non-trivial. A steady-state, tournament selection genetic algorithm code (JavaGenes) was written to implement and test the graph crossover operator. All runs were executed by cycle-scavagging on networked workstations using the Condor batch processing system. The JavaGenes code has evolved pharmaceutical drug molecules and simple digital circuits. Results to date suggest that JavaGenes can evolve moderate sized drug molecules and very small circuits in reasonable time. The algorithm has greater difficulty with somewhat larger circuits, suggesting that directed graphs (circuits) are more difficult to evolve than undirected graphs (molecules), although necessary differences in the crossover operator may also explain the results. In principle, JavaGenes should be able to evolve other graph-representable systems, such as transportation networks, metabolic pathways, and computer networks. However, large graphs evolve significantly slower than smaller graphs, presumably because the space-of-all-graphs explodes combinatorially with graph size. Since the representation strongly affects genetic algorithm performance, adding graphs to the evolutionary programmer's bag-of-tricks should be beneficial. Also, since graph evolution operates directly on the phenotype, the genotype-phenotype translation step, common in genetic algorithm work, is eliminated.

  7. Patterns of molecular genetic variation among cat breeds.

    PubMed

    Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; David, Victor A; Pflueger, Solveig M; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Wade, Claire M; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variation in cat breeds was assessed utilizing a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) loci genotyped in 38 cat breeds and 284 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 24 breeds. Population structure in cat breeds generally reflects their recent ancestry and absence of strong breed barriers between some breeds. There is a wide range in the robustness of population definition, from breeds demonstrating high definition to breeds with as little as a third of their genetic variation partitioning into a single population. Utilizing the STRUCTURE algorithm, there was no clear demarcation of the number of population subdivisions; 16 breeds could not be resolved into independent populations, the consequence of outcrossing in established breeds to recently developed breeds with common ancestry. These 16 breeds were divided into 6 populations. Ninety-six percent of cats in a sample set of 1040 were correctly assigned to their classified breed or breed group/population. Average breed STR heterozygosities ranged from moderate (0.53; Havana, Korat) to high (0.85; Norwegian Forest Cat, Manx). Most of the variation in cat breeds was observed within a breed population (83.7%), versus 16.3% of the variation observed between populations. The hierarchical relationships of cat breeds is poorly defined as demonstrated by phylogenetic trees generated from both STR and SNP data, though phylogeographic grouping of breeds derived completely or in part from Southeast Asian ancestors was apparent.

  8. How the first biopolymers could have evolved.

    PubMed Central

    Abkevich, V I; Gutin, A M; Shakhnovich, E I

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we discuss a possible origin of the first biopolymers with stable unique structures. We suggest that at the prebiotic stage of evolution, long organic polymers had to be compact to avoid hydrolysis and had to be soluble and thus must not be exceedingly hydrophobic. We present an algorithm that generates such sequences for model proteins. The evolved sequences turn out to have a stable unique structure, into which they quickly fold. This result illustrates the idea that the unique three-dimensional native structures of first biopolymers could have evolved as a side effect of nonspecific physicochemical factors acting at the prebiotic stage of evolution. PMID:8570645

  9. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the “candidate genes” and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops. PMID:26388887

  10. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the "candidate genes" and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops.

  11. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the "candidate genes" and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops. PMID:26388887

  12. Surveying The Digital Landscape: Evolving Technologies 2004. The EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Committee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    EDUCAUSE Review, 2004

    2004-01-01

    Each year, the members of the EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Committee identify and research the evolving technologies that are having the most direct impact on higher education institutions. The committee members choose the relevant topics, write white papers, and present their findings at the EDUCAUSE annual conference. This year, under the…

  13. Excellence in Ophthalmology: Continuous Certification.

    PubMed

    Siatkowski, R Michael

    2016-09-01

    Over the course of a century, American medical specialty boards including the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) have developed significant expertise in assessing physician competence on completion of postgraduate training and, more recently, in defining appropriate criteria for continuous learning and quality improvement in practicing physicians. This article explores why maintaining career-long excellence is an evolving challenge, but one that is at the heart of the ABO's mission to protect the public by improving patient care. PMID:27549998

  14. Project Evolve User-Adopter Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joiner, Lee M.

    An adult basic education (ABE) program for mentally retarded young adults between the ages of 14 and 26 years, Project Evolve can provide education agencies for educationally handicapped children with detailed information concerning an innovative program. The manual format was developed through interviews with professional educators concerning the…

  15. The Evolving Leadership Path of Visual Analytics

    SciTech Connect

    Kluse, Michael; Peurrung, Anthony J.; Gracio, Deborah K.

    2012-01-02

    This is a requested book chapter for an internationally authored book on visual analytics and related fields, coordianted by a UK university and to be published by Springer in 2012. This chapter is an overview of the leadship strategies that PNNL's Jim Thomas and other stakeholders used to establish visual analytics as a field, and how those strategies may evolve in the future.

  16. A Course Evolves-Physical Anthropology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neil, Dennis

    2001-01-01

    Describes the development of an online physical anthropology course at Palomar College (California) that evolved from online tutorials. Discusses the ability to update materials on the Web more quickly than in traditional textbooks; creating Web pages that are readable by most Web browsers; test security issues; and clarifying ownership of online…

  17. Hyper massive black holes in evolved galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Cruz, Fernando J.

    2015-09-01

    From the SDSS DR7 we took a sample of 16733 galaxies which do not show all of the emission lines required to classify their activity according to the classical BPT diagram (Baldwin et al. 1981 PASP). Since they do not show these emission lines they are thought to be evolved enough so to host Hyper Massive Black holes. We compared their statistical properties with other galaxies from the SDSS DR7 which do show emission lines and confirmed that their M-sigma relationship correspond to HMBHs (Gutelkin et al. 2009 ApJ) and also that their SFH confirms evolution. We also analyzed them with a new Diagnostic Diagram in the IR (Coziol et al. 2015 AJ) and found that their position in the IR color space (W3W4 vs W2W3) correspond to AGN activity with current low SF, another confirmation of an evolved galaxy. The position of our final sample in the IR diagram is in the same region in which Holm 15A lies, this galaxy is considered to host the most massive BHs in the nearby universe (Lopez-Cruz et al. 2014 ApJL). The morphology of these galaxies (all of them are classified as elliptical) confirms that they are very evolved. We claim that the hyper massive BH lie in galaxies very evolved and with very low SF and without clear AGN activity in the BPT diagram.

  18. Evolving dimensions in medical case reporting

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Medical case reports (MCRs) have been undervalued in the literature to date. It seems that while case series emphasize what is probable, case reports describe what is possible and what can go wrong. MCRs transfer medical knowledge and act as educational tools. We outline evolving aspects of the MCR in current practice. PMID:21524284

  19. Antibody therapeutics - the evolving patent landscape.

    PubMed

    Petering, Jenny; McManamny, Patrick; Honeyman, Jane

    2011-09-01

    The antibody patent landscape has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years, particularly in areas of technology relating to antibody modification to reduce immunogenicity in humans or improve antibody function. In some cases antibody techniques that were developed in the 1980s are still the subject of patent protection in the United States or Canada.

  20. Apollo 16 Evolved Lithology Sodic Ferrogabbro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeigler, Ryan; Jolliff, B. L.; Korotev, R. L.

    2014-01-01

    Evolved lunar igneous lithologies, often referred to as the alkali suite, are a minor but important component of the lunar crust. These evolved samples are incompatible-element rich samples, and are, not surprisingly, most common in the Apollo sites in (or near) the incompatible-element rich region of the Moon known as the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT). The most commonly occurring lithologies are granites (A12, A14, A15, A17), monzogabbro (A14, A15), alkali anorthosites (A12, A14), and KREEP basalts (A15, A17). The Feldspathic Highlands Terrane is not entirely devoid of evolved lithologies, and rare clasts of alkali gabbronorite and sodic ferrogabbro (SFG) have been identified in Apollo 16 station 11 breccias 67915 and 67016. Curiously, nearly all pristine evolved lithologies have been found as small clasts or soil particles, exceptions being KREEP basalts 15382/6 and granitic sample 12013 (which is itself a breccia). Here we reexamine the petrography and geochemistry of two SFG-like particles found in a survey of Apollo 16 2-4 mm particles from the Cayley Plains 62283,7-15 and 62243,10-3 (hereafter 7-15 and 10-3 respectively). We will compare these to previously reported SFG samples, including recent analyses on the type specimen of SFG from lunar breccia 67915.

  1. Breeding season survival and breeding incidence of female Mottled Ducks on the upper Texas gulf coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rigby, Elizabeth A.; Haukos, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Previous Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) studies suggested that high female breeding season survival may be caused by low nesting effort, but few breeding season estimates of survival associated with nesting effort exist on the western Gulf Coast. Here, breeding season survival (N = 40) and breeding incidence (N = 39) were estimated for female Mottled Ducks on the upper Texas coast, 2006–2008. Females were fitted with backpack radio transmitters and visually relocated every 3–4 days. Weekly survival was estimated using the Known Fate procedure of program MARK with breeding incidence estimated as the annual proportion of females observed nesting or with broods. The top-ranked survival model included a body mass covariate and held weekly female survival constant across weeks and years (SW = 0.986, SE = 0.006). When compared to survival across the entire year estimated from previous band recovery and age ratio analysis, survival rate during the breeding season did not differ. Breeding incidence was well below 100% in all years and highly variable among years (15%–63%). Breeding season survival and breeding incidence were similar to estimates obtained with implant transmitters from the mid-coast of Texas. The greatest breeding incidence for both studies occurred when drought indices indicated average environmental moisture during the breeding season. The observed combination of low breeding incidence and high breeding season survival support the hypothesis of a trade-off between the ecological cost of nesting effort and survival for Mottled Duck females. Habitat cues that trigger nesting are unknown and should be investigated.

  2. Genomic selection: Status in different species and challenges for breeding.

    PubMed

    Stock, K F; Reents, R

    2013-09-01

    Technical advances and development in the market for genomic tools have facilitated access to whole-genome data across species. Building-up on the acquired knowledge of the genome sequences, large-scale genotyping has been optimized for broad use, so genotype information can be routinely used to predict genetic merit. Genomic selection (GS) refers to the use of aggregates of estimated marker effects as predictors which allow improved individual differentiation at young age. Realizable benefits of GS are influenced by several factors and vary in quantity and quality between species. General characteristics and challenges of GS in implementation and routine application are described, followed by an overview over the current status of its use, prospects and challenges in important animal species. Genetic gain for a particular trait can be enhanced by shortening of the generation interval, increased selection accuracy and increased selection intensity, with species- and breed-specific relevance of the determinants. Reliable predictions based on genetic marker effects require assembly of a reference for linking of phenotype and genotype data to allow estimation and regular re-estimation. Experiences from dairy breeding have shown that international collaboration can set the course for fast and successful implementation of innovative selection tools, so genomics may significantly impact the structures of future breeding and breeding programmes. Traits of great and increasing importance, which were difficult to improve in the conventional systems, could be emphasized, if continuous availability of high-quality phenotype data can be assured. Equally elaborate strategies for genotyping and phenotyping will allow tailored approaches to balance efficient animal production, sustainability, animal health and welfare in future. PMID:23962210

  3. Genomic selection: Status in different species and challenges for breeding.

    PubMed

    Stock, K F; Reents, R

    2013-09-01

    Technical advances and development in the market for genomic tools have facilitated access to whole-genome data across species. Building-up on the acquired knowledge of the genome sequences, large-scale genotyping has been optimized for broad use, so genotype information can be routinely used to predict genetic merit. Genomic selection (GS) refers to the use of aggregates of estimated marker effects as predictors which allow improved individual differentiation at young age. Realizable benefits of GS are influenced by several factors and vary in quantity and quality between species. General characteristics and challenges of GS in implementation and routine application are described, followed by an overview over the current status of its use, prospects and challenges in important animal species. Genetic gain for a particular trait can be enhanced by shortening of the generation interval, increased selection accuracy and increased selection intensity, with species- and breed-specific relevance of the determinants. Reliable predictions based on genetic marker effects require assembly of a reference for linking of phenotype and genotype data to allow estimation and regular re-estimation. Experiences from dairy breeding have shown that international collaboration can set the course for fast and successful implementation of innovative selection tools, so genomics may significantly impact the structures of future breeding and breeding programmes. Traits of great and increasing importance, which were difficult to improve in the conventional systems, could be emphasized, if continuous availability of high-quality phenotype data can be assured. Equally elaborate strategies for genotyping and phenotyping will allow tailored approaches to balance efficient animal production, sustainability, animal health and welfare in future.

  4. Management and Breeding Soundness of Mature Bulls.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Colin W

    2016-07-01

    Mature bulls must be fed a balanced ration, vaccinated appropriately, and undergo a breeding soundness evaluation to ensure they meet what is required of a short, but intense breeding season. To be classified as a satisfactory potential breeder, minimum standards for physical soundness, scrotal circumference, sperm motility, and sperm morphology must be achieved using an accepted bull-breeding soundness evaluation format. Sperm production requires approximately 70 days. Heat and stress are the most common insults to spermatogenesis, causing an increase in morphologic abnormalities with obesity-associated scrotal fat accumulation being the most frequent cause of elevated testicular temperature in mature bulls.

  5. First charge breeding results at CARIBU EBIS

    SciTech Connect

    Kondrashev, S. Barcikowski, A. Dickerson, C. Ostroumov, P. N. Sharamentov, S. Vondrasek, R.; Pikin, A.

    2015-01-09

    The Electron Beam Ion Source (EBIS) developed to breed CARIBU radioactive beams at ATLAS is currently in the off-line commissioning stage. The beam commissioning is being performed using a low emittance surface ionization source producing singly-charged cesium ions. The primary goal of the off-line commissioning is the demonstration of high-efficiency charge breeding in the pulsed injection mode. An overview of the final design of the CARIBU EBIS charge breeder, the off-line commissioning installation and the first results on charge breeding of stable cesium ions are presented and discussed.

  6. Breeding behavior of immature mourning doves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Irby, H.D.; Blankenship, L.H.

    1966-01-01

    Some immature mourning doves (Zenaidura mncroura) are capable of breeding in their first (calendar) year of life. The breeding activities of immatures observed in this study included calling, copulating, and nesting. Development of sexual structures such as cloacal papillae, oviduct openings, and gonads was also regarded as evidence of breeding potential. Immatures were identified principally by white-tipped wing coverts. Sexes were distinguished by behavioral characteristics. Males coo, perform flights, carry nest material, and attend nests during the day and females attend nests at night. Immatures were involved in at least ten nestings on two areas near Tucson, Arizona, in 1963. Five young fledged from these nests.

  7. Book review: Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2004-01-01

    The first North American breeding bird atlases were initiated during the 1970s. With atlases completed or ongoing in more than 40 U.S. states and most Canadian provinces, these projects are now familiar to professional ornithologists and amateur birders. This book provides the results of the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas, the data for which were collected during 1997–2001. Its appearance less than 3 years after completing fieldwork is remarkable and everyone associated with its timely publication should be congratulated for their efforts.Review info: Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas. By Dan L. Reinking, 2004. ISBN: 0806136146, 528 pp.

  8. [The use of biotechnology in animal breeding].

    PubMed

    Groeneveld, E; Brade, W

    1996-01-01

    Biotechnological techniques are extensively used in dairy breeding programs. Thus, artificial insemination and embryo transfer (and associated techniques) constitute an integral part of modern breeding programs. In pig breeding, embryo transfer is mostly restricted to special problem areas because of its high costs. Currently this technique is used for the exchange of genetic material on an international level, for the creation of specific pathogene free herds, and in connection with cryoconservation for the setup of embryobanks in the context of the preservation of genetic resources. PMID:9011495

  9. Breeding bald eagles in captivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestrelli, J.R.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1975-01-01

    A 7-year-old female Bald Eagle from Alabama was paired with a 4-year-old Alaskan male in a large flight pen during December 1969. Both birds were free of physical defects when originally placed in the pen but the female was blind in one eye prior to the 1973 breeding season.....Nesting first occurred during 1971 when at least two eggs were laid; all but one, which showed no sign of embryonic development after being incubated for 56 days, were broken by the adult birds. Two of three eggs laid in 1972 hatched. Both young died a few days after hatching following a period of inclement weather. Three eggs were laid and hatched during 1973. Antagonism between the nestlings was observed soon after hatching and may have been responsible for the unobserved death of one nestling, two days after the third young hatched. The two remaining young were raised by the adult birds and eventually left the nest 85 days after the first egg hatched. Incubation periods for the 1972-73 clutches averaged 35 days. No renesting attempts were made by the eagles during the 3.year period.

  10. ASAS centennial paper: Future needs in animal breeding and genetics.

    PubMed

    Green, R D

    2009-02-01

    The past century has seen animal breeding and genetics evolve and expand from definition and validation of basic population genetics theory to development of selection index theory to today's relatively sophisticated genetic prediction systems enabling industry genetic improvement. The end of the first century of the American Society of Animal Science coincides with the rapid movement of the field into the era of genome-enabled genetic improvement and precision management systems. Led by recent research infrastructure investments by the United States and international partners to develop chicken, bovine, swine, ovine, and equine "genomic toolboxes," the animal breeding community is poised to play a crucial role in the century to come. These genomic toolboxes provide the needed platforms for developing whole-genome selection programs based on linkage disequilibrium for a wide spectrum of traits; allow the opportunity to redefine genetic prediction based on allele sharing as opposed to traditional pedigree relationships; and provide for the first time simultaneous information upon which to practice genetic selection and plan precision management of specific genotypes, all early in the life of the animal. An area of major focus will be mining of the genomes through systems biology approaches to better understand gene and metabolic networks--what has previously been lumped into poorly understood genotype by environment and genotype by genotype interactions. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to the successful merger of genomic and quantitative approaches will be the lack of necessary animal resource populations to appropriately define and measure phenotypes (i.e., the so-called phenomic gap) for difficult-to-measure traits such as resistance to disease and stress, adaptability, longevity, and efficiency of nutrient utilization. Additionally, because of de-emphasis of quantitative genetics and animal breeding programs in academia over the past quarter century, a dearth of

  11. Sex-Specific Habitat Utilization and Differential Breeding Investments in Christmas Island Frigatebirds throughout the Breeding Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Hennicke, Janos C.; James, David J.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas) allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle. PMID:26098941

  12. Rice breeding in the post-genomics era: from concept to practice.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Kang; Zhang, Fan

    2013-05-01

    Future world food security requires continued and sustainable increase in rice production. Much of this increase has to come from new high yielding cultivars with resistances to multiple stresses. While future rice breeding in the post-genomics era has to build upon the progress in rice functional genomics research, great challenges remain in understanding the genetic/molecular systems underlying complex traits and linking the tremendous genome sequence diversity in the rice germplasm collections to the phenotypic variation of important traits. To meet the challenges in future rice improvement, a molecular breeding (MB) strategy has been practiced in China with significant progress in establishing the MB material and information platforms in the process of breeding, and in developing new varieties through two novel MB schemes. However, full implementation of this strategy requires tremendous investment to build capacities in high-throughput genotyping, reliable/precision phenotyping and in developing and adopting new genomics/genetic information-based analytic/application breeding tools, which are not in place in most of the public rice breeding institutions. Nevertheless, future advances and developments in these areas are expected to generate enormous knowledge of rice traits and application tools that enable breeders to deploy more efficient and effective breeding strategies to maximize rice productivity and resource use efficiencies in various ecosystems. PMID:23571011

  13. Viability of the Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dunham, Kylee; Grand, James B.

    2016-10-11

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is tasked with setting objective and measurable criteria for delisting species or populations listed under the Endangered Species Act. Determining the acceptable threshold for extinction risk for any species or population is a challenging task, particularly when facing marked uncertainty. The Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders (Polysticta stelleri) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997 because of a perceived decline in abundance throughout their nesting range and geographic isolation from the Russian breeding population. Previous genetic studies and modeling efforts, however, suggest that there may be dispersal from the Russian breeding population. Additionally, evidence exists of population level nonbreeding events. Research was conducted to estimate population viability of the Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders, using both an open and closed model of population process for this threatened population. Projections under a closed population model suggest this population has a 100 percent probability of extinction within 42 years. Projections under an open population model suggest that with immigration there is no probability of permanent extinction. Because of random immigration process and nonbreeding behavior, however, it is likely that this population will continue to be present in low and highly variable numbers on the breeding grounds in Alaska. Monitoring the winter population, which includes both Russian and Alaskan breeding birds, may offer a more comprehensive indication of population viability.

  14. Breeding erect plant type sweetpotato lines using cross breeding and gamma-ray irradiation.

    PubMed

    Kuranouchi, Toshikazu; Kumazaki, Tadashi; Kumagai, Toru; Nakatani, Makoto

    2016-06-01

    Few sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) cultivars with erect plant type are available despite their advantages over spreading type, such as simplicity of cultivation and ability to adapt to limited space. One of the reasons is insufficiency of their agronomic characteristics for table use. So, it is important to overcome these drawbacks of ER-type lines. We attempted to breed new erect plant type sweetpotato lines having good agronomic traits using cross breeding and mutation breeding with gamma-ray irradiation. With cross breeding we successfully developed new erect plant type lines with almost equal levels of yield as compared to 'Beniazuma', one of the leading cultivars in Japan. However, mutation breeding failed to develop any promising lines because we could not obtain distinct erect plant type lines. In the future larger numbers of plants should be used for mutation breeding, and irradiation methods should be improved. PMID:27436957

  15. The ascent of cat breeds: genetic evaluations of breeds and worldwide random-bred populations.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Monika J; Froenicke, Lutz; Baysac, Kathleen C; Billings, Nicholas C; Leutenegger, Christian M; Levy, Alon M; Longeri, Maria; Niini, Tirri; Ozpinar, Haydar; Slater, Margaret R; Pedersen, Niels C; Lyons, Leslie A

    2008-01-01

    The diaspora of the modern cat was traced with microsatellite markers from the presumed site of domestication to distant regions of the world. Genetic data were derived from over 1100 individuals, representing 17 random-bred populations from five continents and 22 breeds. The Mediterranean was reconfirmed to be the probable site of domestication. Genetic diversity has remained broad throughout the world, with distinct genetic clustering in the Mediterranean basin, Europe/America, Asia and Africa. However, Asian cats appeared to have separated early and expanded in relative isolation. Most breeds were derived from indigenous cats of their purported regions of origin. However, the Persian and Japanese bobtail were more aligned with European/American than with Mediterranean basin or Asian clusters. Three recently derived breeds were not distinct from their parental breeds of origin. Pure breeding was associated with a loss of genetic diversity; however, this loss did not correlate with breed popularity or age.

  16. Breeding erect plant type sweetpotato lines using cross breeding and gamma-ray irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Kuranouchi, Toshikazu; Kumazaki, Tadashi; Kumagai, Toru; Nakatani, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Few sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) cultivars with erect plant type are available despite their advantages over spreading type, such as simplicity of cultivation and ability to adapt to limited space. One of the reasons is insufficiency of their agronomic characteristics for table use. So, it is important to overcome these drawbacks of ER-type lines. We attempted to breed new erect plant type sweetpotato lines having good agronomic traits using cross breeding and mutation breeding with gamma-ray irradiation. With cross breeding we successfully developed new erect plant type lines with almost equal levels of yield as compared to ‘Beniazuma’, one of the leading cultivars in Japan. However, mutation breeding failed to develop any promising lines because we could not obtain distinct erect plant type lines. In the future larger numbers of plants should be used for mutation breeding, and irradiation methods should be improved. PMID:27436957

  17. Equine post-breeding endometritis: A review

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    The deposition of semen, bacteria and debris in the uterus of the mare after breeding normally induces a self-limiting endometritis. The resultant fluid and inflammatory products are cleared by 48 hours post cover. Mares that are susceptible to persistent post-breeding endometritis (PPBEM) have impaired uterine defence and clearance mechanisms, making them unable to resolve this inflammation within the normal time. This persists beyond 48 hours post-breeding and causes persistent fluid accumulation within the uterus. Mares with PPBEM have an increased rate of embryonic loss and a lower overall pregnancy rate than those without the condition. To enhance conception rates, mares at high risk need optimal breeding management as well as early diagnosis, followed by the most appropriate treatment. This article reviews the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of PPBEM and the management of affected mares. PMID:21851709

  18. Analysis of breed effects on semen traits in light horse, warmblood, and draught horse breeds.

    PubMed

    Gottschalk, Maren; Sieme, Harald; Martinsson, Gunilla; Distl, Ottmar

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, systematic effects on semen quality traits were investigated in 381 stallions representing 22 breeds. All stallions were used for AI either at the Lower Saxon National Stud Celle or the North Rhine-Westphalian National Stud Warendorf. A total of 71,078 fresh semen reports of the years 2001 to 2014 were edited for analysis of gel-free volume, sperm concentration, total number of sperm, progressive motility, and total number of progressively motile sperm. Breed differences were studied for warmblood and light horse breeds of both national studs (model I) and for warmblood breeds and the draught horse breed Rhenish German Coldblood from the North Rhine-Westphalian National stud (model II) using mixed model procedures. The fixed effects of age class, year, and month of semen collection had significant influences on all semen traits in both analyses. A significant influence of the horse breed was found for all semen traits but gel-free volume in both statistical models. Comparing warmblood and light horse stallions of both national studs, we observed highest sperm concentrations, total numbers of sperm, and total numbers of progressively motile sperm in Anglo-Arabian stallions. The draught horse breed Rhenish German Coldblood had the highest least squares means for gel-free volume, whereas all other investigated semen traits were significantly lower in this breed compared to the warmblood stallions under study. The variance components among stallions within breeds were significant for all semen traits and accounted for 40% to 59% of the total variance. The between-breed-variance among stallions was not significant underlining the similar size of the random stallion effect in each of the horse breeds analyzed here. In conclusion, breed and stallion are accounting for a significant proportion of the variation in semen quality.

  19. Analysis of breed effects on semen traits in light horse, warmblood, and draught horse breeds.

    PubMed

    Gottschalk, Maren; Sieme, Harald; Martinsson, Gunilla; Distl, Ottmar

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, systematic effects on semen quality traits were investigated in 381 stallions representing 22 breeds. All stallions were used for AI either at the Lower Saxon National Stud Celle or the North Rhine-Westphalian National Stud Warendorf. A total of 71,078 fresh semen reports of the years 2001 to 2014 were edited for analysis of gel-free volume, sperm concentration, total number of sperm, progressive motility, and total number of progressively motile sperm. Breed differences were studied for warmblood and light horse breeds of both national studs (model I) and for warmblood breeds and the draught horse breed Rhenish German Coldblood from the North Rhine-Westphalian National stud (model II) using mixed model procedures. The fixed effects of age class, year, and month of semen collection had significant influences on all semen traits in both analyses. A significant influence of the horse breed was found for all semen traits but gel-free volume in both statistical models. Comparing warmblood and light horse stallions of both national studs, we observed highest sperm concentrations, total numbers of sperm, and total numbers of progressively motile sperm in Anglo-Arabian stallions. The draught horse breed Rhenish German Coldblood had the highest least squares means for gel-free volume, whereas all other investigated semen traits were significantly lower in this breed compared to the warmblood stallions under study. The variance components among stallions within breeds were significant for all semen traits and accounted for 40% to 59% of the total variance. The between-breed-variance among stallions was not significant underlining the similar size of the random stallion effect in each of the horse breeds analyzed here. In conclusion, breed and stallion are accounting for a significant proportion of the variation in semen quality. PMID:26893165

  20. Competitive Advantage and its Sources in an Evolving Market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaridis, Apostolos D.

    2009-08-01

    In a continuously altered and evolving Market, as is the food manufacturing market, the main and long-lasting objective of firm that is the maximization of its wealth and consequently the continuous remaining in profit regions, appears that it is possible to be achieved via the obtainment and maintenance of diachronically long-term competitive advantage, which it will render the firm unique or leader force in a inexorable competition that is continuously extended in a globalized market. Various definitions and different regards are developed in regard to the competitive advantage and the way with which a firm it is possible, acquiring it, to star in the market in which it is activated. As result of sustainable competitive advantage in a firm comes the above the average performance. Abundance of resources and competences that are proposed as sources of competitive advantage in the resource-based view literature exists, while they are added continuously new based on empiric studies. In any case, it appears to suffer hierarchy of sources of competitive advantage, with regard to sustainability of these.

  1. Carry-over body mass effect from winter to breeding in a resident seabird, the little penguin

    PubMed Central

    Salton, Marcus; Saraux, Claire; Dann, Peter; Chiaradia, André

    2015-01-01

    Using body mass and breeding data of individual penguins collected continuously over 7 years (2002–2008), we examined carry-over effects of winter body mass on timing of laying and breeding success in a resident seabird, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). The austral winter month of July consistently had the lowest rate of colony attendance, which confirmed our expectation that penguins work hard to find resources at this time between breeding seasons. Contrary to our expectation, body mass in winter (July) was equal or higher than in the period before (‘moult-recovery’) and after (‘pre-breeding’) in 5 of 7 years for males and in all 7 years for females. We provided evidence of a carry-over effect of body mass from winter to breeding; females and males with higher body mass in winter were more likely to breed early and males with higher body mass in winter were likely to breed successfully. Sex differences might relate to sex-specific breeding tasks, where females may use their winter reserves to invest in egg-laying, whereas males use their winter reserves to sustain the longer fasts ashore during courtship. Our findings suggest that resident seabirds like little penguins can also benefit from a carry-over effect of winter body mass on subsequent breeding. PMID:26064587

  2. An Evolved Orthogonal Enzyme/Cofactor Pair.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Evan W; McHenry, Matthew W; Cannac, Fabien; Gober, Joshua G; Snow, Christopher D; Brustad, Eric M

    2016-09-28

    We introduce a strategy that expands the functionality of hemoproteins through orthogonal enzyme/heme pairs. By exploiting the ability of a natural heme transport protein, ChuA, to promiscuously import heme derivatives, we have evolved a cytochrome P450 (P450BM3) that selectively incorporates a nonproteinogenic cofactor, iron deuteroporphyrin IX (Fe-DPIX), even in the presence of endogenous heme. Crystal structures show that selectivity gains are due to mutations that introduce steric clash with the heme vinyl groups while providing a complementary binding surface for the smaller Fe-DPIX cofactor. Furthermore, the evolved orthogonal enzyme/cofactor pair is active in non-natural carbenoid-mediated olefin cyclopropanation. This methodology for the generation of orthogonal enzyme/cofactor pairs promises to expand cofactor diversity in artificial metalloenzymes.

  3. Evolving neural networks through augmenting topologies.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Kenneth O; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2002-01-01

    An important question in neuroevolution is how to gain an advantage from evolving neural network topologies along with weights. We present a method, NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT), which outperforms the best fixed-topology method on a challenging benchmark reinforcement learning task. We claim that the increased efficiency is due to (1) employing a principled method of crossover of different topologies, (2) protecting structural innovation using speciation, and (3) incrementally growing from minimal structure. We test this claim through a series of ablation studies that demonstrate that each component is necessary to the system as a whole and to each other. What results is significantly faster learning. NEAT is also an important contribution to GAs because it shows how it is possible for evolution to both optimize and complexify solutions simultaneously, offering the possibility of evolving increasingly complex solutions over generations, and strengthening the analogy with biological evolution. PMID:12180173

  4. Evolving neural models of path integration.

    PubMed

    Vickerstaff, R J; Di Paolo, E A

    2005-09-01

    We use a genetic algorithm to evolve neural models of path integration, with particular emphasis on reproducing the homing behaviour of Cataglyphis fortis ants. This is done within the context of a complete model system, including an explicit representation of the animal's movements within its environment. We show that it is possible to produce a neural network without imposing a priori any particular system for the internal representation of the animal's home vector. The best evolved network obtained is analysed in detail and is found to resemble the bicomponent model of Mittelstaedt. Because of the presence of leaky integration, the model can reproduce the systematic navigation errors found in desert ants. The model also naturally mimics the searching behaviour that ants perform once they have reached their estimate of the nest location. The results support possible roles for leaky integration and cosine-shaped compass response functions in path integration.

  5. Evolved gas analysis of secondary organic aerosols

    SciTech Connect

    Grosjean, D.; Williams, E.L. II; Grosjean, E. ); Novakov, T. )

    1994-11-01

    Secondary organic aerosols have been characterized by evolved gas analysis (EGA). Hydrocarbons selected as aerosol precursors were representative of anthropogenic emissions (cyclohexene, cyclopentene, 1-decene and 1-dodecene, n-dodecane, o-xylene, and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene) and of biogenic emissions (the terpenes [alpha]-pinene, [beta]-pinene and d-limonene and the sesquiterpene trans-caryophyllene). Also analyzed by EGA were samples of secondary, primary (highway tunnel), and ambient (urban) aerosols before and after exposure to ozone and other photochemical oxidants. The major features of the EGA thermograms (amount of CO[sub 2] evolved as a function of temperature) are described. The usefulness and limitations of EGA data for source apportionment of atmospheric particulate carbon are briefly discussed. 28 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. [Pain caused by breeding: definition, judgment, pathogenesis].

    PubMed

    Herzog, A

    1997-02-01

    Special terms of the "German Animal Protection Law (section 11b)"and the "European Agreement for Protection of Domestic Animals" particularly "torture-breeding, genetic characteristics, well-being, soundness, pains, injuries and specific use" are commented. Examples of torture-breedings are discussed: Dog (Merle-faktor, brachycephalie, atrichosis), cat (Mans-factor, W-gene, folded-ears), birds (tuffs, ear-drops, tailesness, hypertrophy of bill-warts, abnormal position of tarsal-joints, hypertrophy of imposing behavior).

  7. Efficiency of weight gain of serial slaughtered bulls of a five-breed diallel.

    PubMed

    Woldehawariat, G; Cartwright, T C; Long, C R

    1990-10-01

    Weight and feed consumption of 197 bulls were recorded monthly in a serial slaughter experiment continuing over a period of 24 mo. The bulls were produced in a modified five-breed diallel of the Angus, Brahman, Hereford, Holstein and Jersey breeds. Our objective was to estimate efficiency of feed conversion for weight gain for each breed and cross. The model included average weight gain per day (ADG) as a dependent variable; independent variables included breed-type, season, month within season, average feed intake per day (ADI), initial weight, weight to the .75 power, breed x ADI and season x ADI effects. The sum of the partial regression coefficients of ADG on ADI and on breed x ADI adjusted for season, month within season, initial weight, weight to the .75 power and season x ADI was interpreted to be an estimate of intrinsic or net efficiency of ADG. There were no significant differences among the various breed-types in intrinsic efficiency of ADG. Average heterosis for intrinsic efficiency of feed conversion was not significant. None of the contrasts among breed-types was significant for intrinsic efficiency of ADG (British vs dairy, 1.1 +/- 12.3 g/d; Brahman-dairy crosses vs British-dairy crosses, 32.7 +/- 12.9 g/d; British-Brahman crosses vs British-dairy crosses, 13.9 +/- 12.4 g/d; British-Brahman crosses vs straightbred British 3.2 +/- 14.8 g/d). PMID:2254188

  8. The evolving definition of systemic arterial hypertension.

    PubMed

    Ram, C Venkata S; Giles, Thomas D

    2010-05-01

    Systemic hypertension is an important risk factor for premature cardiovascular disease. Hypertension also contributes to excessive morbidity and mortality. Whereas excellent therapeutic options are available to treat hypertension, there is an unsettled issue about the very definition of hypertension. At what level of blood pressure should we treat hypertension? Does the definition of hypertension change in the presence of co-morbid conditions? This article covers in detail the evolving concepts in the diagnosis and management of hypertension.

  9. Quantum games on evolving random networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawela, Łukasz

    2016-09-01

    We study the advantages of quantum strategies in evolutionary social dilemmas on evolving random networks. We focus our study on the two-player games: prisoner's dilemma, snowdrift and stag-hunt games. The obtained result show the benefits of quantum strategies for the prisoner's dilemma game. For the other two games, we obtain regions of parameters where the quantum strategies dominate, as well as regions where the classical strategies coexist.

  10. Prunus transcription factors: breeding perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Valmor J.; Rubio, Manuel; Trainotti, Livio; Verde, Ignazio; Bonghi, Claudio; Martínez-Gómez, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Many plant processes depend on differential gene expression, which is generally controlled by complex proteins called transcription factors (TFs). In peach, 1533 TFs have been identified, accounting for about 5.5% of the 27,852 protein-coding genes. These TFs are the reference for the rest of the Prunus species. TF studies in Prunus have been performed on the gene expression analysis of different agronomic traits, including control of the flowering process, fruit quality, and biotic and abiotic stress resistance. These studies, using quantitative RT-PCR, have mainly been performed in peach, and to a lesser extent in other species, including almond, apricot, black cherry, Fuji cherry, Japanese apricot, plum, and sour and sweet cherry. Other tools have also been used in TF studies, including cDNA-AFLP, LC-ESI-MS, RNA, and DNA blotting or mapping. More recently, new tools assayed include microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing (DNA-Seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). New functional genomics opportunities include genome resequencing and the well-known synteny among Prunus genomes and transcriptomes. These new functional studies should be applied in breeding programs in the development of molecular markers. With the genome sequences available, some strategies that have been used in model systems (such as SNP genotyping assays and genotyping-by-sequencing) may be applicable in the functional analysis of Prunus TFs as well. In addition, the knowledge of the gene functions and position in the peach reference genome of the TFs represents an additional advantage. These facts could greatly facilitate the isolation of genes via QTL (quantitative trait loci) map-based cloning in the different Prunus species, following the association of these TFs with the identified QTLs using the peach reference genome. PMID:26124770

  11. Prunus transcription factors: breeding perspectives.

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Valmor J; Rubio, Manuel; Trainotti, Livio; Verde, Ignazio; Bonghi, Claudio; Martínez-Gómez, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Many plant processes depend on differential gene expression, which is generally controlled by complex proteins called transcription factors (TFs). In peach, 1533 TFs have been identified, accounting for about 5.5% of the 27,852 protein-coding genes. These TFs are the reference for the rest of the Prunus species. TF studies in Prunus have been performed on the gene expression analysis of different agronomic traits, including control of the flowering process, fruit quality, and biotic and abiotic stress resistance. These studies, using quantitative RT-PCR, have mainly been performed in peach, and to a lesser extent in other species, including almond, apricot, black cherry, Fuji cherry, Japanese apricot, plum, and sour and sweet cherry. Other tools have also been used in TF studies, including cDNA-AFLP, LC-ESI-MS, RNA, and DNA blotting or mapping. More recently, new tools assayed include microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing (DNA-Seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). New functional genomics opportunities include genome resequencing and the well-known synteny among Prunus genomes and transcriptomes. These new functional studies should be applied in breeding programs in the development of molecular markers. With the genome sequences available, some strategies that have been used in model systems (such as SNP genotyping assays and genotyping-by-sequencing) may be applicable in the functional analysis of Prunus TFs as well. In addition, the knowledge of the gene functions and position in the peach reference genome of the TFs represents an additional advantage. These facts could greatly facilitate the isolation of genes via QTL (quantitative trait loci) map-based cloning in the different Prunus species, following the association of these TFs with the identified QTLs using the peach reference genome. PMID:26124770

  12. Transistor Level Circuit Experiments using Evolvable Hardware

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoica, A.; Zebulum, R. S.; Keymeulen, D.; Ferguson, M. I.; Daud, Taher; Thakoor, A.

    2005-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) performs research in fault tolerant, long life, and space survivable electronics for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). With that focus, JPL has been involved in Evolvable Hardware (EHW) technology research for the past several years. We have advanced the technology not only by simulation and evolution experiments, but also by designing, fabricating, and evolving a variety of transistor-based analog and digital circuits at the chip level. EHW refers to self-configuration of electronic hardware by evolutionary/genetic search mechanisms, thereby maintaining existing functionality in the presence of degradations due to aging, temperature, and radiation. In addition, EHW has the capability to reconfigure itself for new functionality when required for mission changes or encountered opportunities. Evolution experiments are performed using a genetic algorithm running on a DSP as the reconfiguration mechanism and controlling the evolvable hardware mounted on a self-contained circuit board. Rapid reconfiguration allows convergence to circuit solutions in the order of seconds. The paper illustrates hardware evolution results of electronic circuits and their ability to perform under 230 C temperature as well as radiations of up to 250 kRad.

  13. Evolving specialization of the arthropod nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Erin; Bruce, Heather S.; Patel, Nipam H.

    2012-01-01

    The diverse array of body plans possessed by arthropods is created by generating variations upon a design of repeated segments formed during development, using a relatively small “toolbox” of conserved patterning genes. These attributes make the arthropod body plan a valuable model for elucidating how changes in development create diversity of form. As increasingly specialized segments and appendages evolved in arthropods, the nervous systems of these animals also evolved to control the function of these structures. Although there is a remarkable degree of conservation in neural development both between individual segments in any given species and between the nervous systems of different arthropod groups, the differences that do exist are informative for inferring general principles about the holistic evolution of body plans. This review describes developmental processes controlling neural segmentation and regionalization, highlighting segmentation mechanisms that create both ectodermal and neural segments, as well as recent studies of the role of Hox genes in generating regional specification within the central nervous system. We argue that this system generates a modular design that allows the nervous system to evolve in concert with the body segments and their associated appendages. This information will be useful in future studies of macroevolutionary changes in arthropod body plans, especially in understanding how these transformations can be made in a way that retains the function of appendages during evolutionary transitions in morphology. PMID:22723369

  14. Citrus breeding, genetics and genomics in Japan.

    PubMed

    Omura, Mitsuo; Shimada, Takehiko

    2016-01-01

    Citrus is one of the most cultivated fruits in the world, and satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) is a major cultivated citrus in Japan. Many excellent cultivars derived from satsuma mandarin have been released through the improvement of mandarins using a conventional breeding method. The citrus breeding program is a lengthy process owing to the long juvenility, and it is predicted that marker-assisted selection (MAS) will overcome the obstacle and improve the efficiency of conventional breeding methods. To promote citrus molecular breeding in Japan, a genetic mapping was initiated in 1987, and the experimental tools and resources necessary for citrus functional genomics have been developed in relation to the physiological analysis of satsuma mandarin. In this paper, we review the progress of citrus breeding and genome researches in Japan and report the studies on genetic mapping, expression sequence tag cataloguing, and molecular characterization of breeding characteristics, mainly in terms of the metabolism of bio-functional substances as well as factors relating to, for example, fruit quality, disease resistance, polyembryony, and flowering.

  15. Citrus breeding, genetics and genomics in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Omura, Mitsuo; Shimada, Takehiko

    2016-01-01

    Citrus is one of the most cultivated fruits in the world, and satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) is a major cultivated citrus in Japan. Many excellent cultivars derived from satsuma mandarin have been released through the improvement of mandarins using a conventional breeding method. The citrus breeding program is a lengthy process owing to the long juvenility, and it is predicted that marker-assisted selection (MAS) will overcome the obstacle and improve the efficiency of conventional breeding methods. To promote citrus molecular breeding in Japan, a genetic mapping was initiated in 1987, and the experimental tools and resources necessary for citrus functional genomics have been developed in relation to the physiological analysis of satsuma mandarin. In this paper, we review the progress of citrus breeding and genome researches in Japan and report the studies on genetic mapping, expression sequence tag cataloguing, and molecular characterization of breeding characteristics, mainly in terms of the metabolism of bio-functional substances as well as factors relating to, for example, fruit quality, disease resistance, polyembryony, and flowering. PMID:27069387

  16. Citrus breeding, genetics and genomics in Japan.

    PubMed

    Omura, Mitsuo; Shimada, Takehiko

    2016-01-01

    Citrus is one of the most cultivated fruits in the world, and satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) is a major cultivated citrus in Japan. Many excellent cultivars derived from satsuma mandarin have been released through the improvement of mandarins using a conventional breeding method. The citrus breeding program is a lengthy process owing to the long juvenility, and it is predicted that marker-assisted selection (MAS) will overcome the obstacle and improve the efficiency of conventional breeding methods. To promote citrus molecular breeding in Japan, a genetic mapping was initiated in 1987, and the experimental tools and resources necessary for citrus functional genomics have been developed in relation to the physiological analysis of satsuma mandarin. In this paper, we review the progress of citrus breeding and genome researches in Japan and report the studies on genetic mapping, expression sequence tag cataloguing, and molecular characterization of breeding characteristics, mainly in terms of the metabolism of bio-functional substances as well as factors relating to, for example, fruit quality, disease resistance, polyembryony, and flowering. PMID:27069387

  17. Application of Genomics Tools to Animal Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Dekkers, Jack C.M.

    2012-01-01

    The main goal in animal breeding is to select individuals that have high breeding values for traits of interest as parents to produce the next generation and to do so as quickly as possible. To date, most programs rely on statistical analysis of large data bases with phenotypes on breeding populations by linear mixed model methodology to estimate breeding values on selection candidates. However, there is a long history of research on the use of genetic markers to identify quantitative trait loci and their use in marker-assisted selection but with limited implementation in practical breeding programs. The advent of high-density SNP genotyping, combined with novel statistical methods for the use of this data to estimate breeding values, has resulted in the recent extensive application of genomic or whole-genome selection in dairy cattle and research to implement genomic selection in other livestock species is underway. The high-density SNP data also provides opportunities to detect QTL and to encover the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, in terms of the distribution of the size of genetic effects that contribute to trait differences in a population. Results show that this genetic architecture differs between traits but that for most traits, over 50% of the genetic variation resides in genomic regions with small effects that are of the order of magnitude that is expected under a highly polygenic model of inheritance. PMID:23115522

  18. Historical use of cultivars as parents in Florida and Louisiana sugarcane breeding program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sugarcane (Saccharum L. spp. hybrids) growers depend on breeding programs for new, high-yielding cultivars that have resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses, so breeders continually seek out widely adapted, high yielding germplasm to be used as parents for their programs. Cultivars are sometimes u...

  19. 50 CFR 15.24 - Permits for cooperative breeding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Permits for cooperative breeding. 15.24... PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.24 Permits for cooperative breeding. (a) Application requirements for permits for cooperative breeding....

  20. 50 CFR 15.24 - Permits for cooperative breeding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Permits for cooperative breeding. 15.24... PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.24 Permits for cooperative breeding. (a) Application requirements for permits for cooperative breeding....

  1. Control of canalization and evolvability by Hsp90.

    PubMed

    Milton, Claire C; Ulane, Christina M; Rutherford, Suzannah

    2006-01-01

    Partial reduction of Hsp90 increases expression of morphological novelty in qualitative traits of Drosophila and Arabidopsis, but the extent to which the Hsp90 chaperone also controls smaller and more likely adaptive changes in natural quantitative traits has been unclear. To determine the effect of Hsp90 on quantitative trait variability we deconstructed genetic, stochastic and environmental components of variation in Drosophila wing and bristle traits of genetically matched flies, differing only by Hsp90 loss-of-function or wild-type alleles. Unexpectedly, Hsp90 buffering was remarkably specific to certain normally invariant and highly discrete quantitative traits. Like the qualitative trait phenotypes controlled by Hsp90, highly discrete quantitative traits such as scutellor and thoracic bristle number are threshold traits. When tested across genotypes sampled from a wild population or in laboratory strains, the sensitivity of these traits to many types of variation was coordinately controlled, while continuously variable bristle types and wing size, and critically invariant left-right wing asymmetry, remained relatively unaffected. Although increased environmental variation and developmental noise would impede many types of selection response, in replicate populations in which Hsp90 was specifically impaired, heritability and 'extrinsic evolvability', the expected response to selection, were also markedly increased. However, despite the overall buffering effect of Hsp90 on variation in populations, for any particular individual or genotype in which Hsp90 was impaired, the size and direction of its effects were unpredictable. The trait and genetic-background dependence of Hsp90 effects and its remarkable bias toward invariant or canalized traits support the idea that traits evolve independent and trait-specific mechanisms of canalization and evolvability through their evolution of non-linearity and thresholds. Highly non-linear responses would buffer variation

  2. EVOLVE 4.0 orbital debris mitigation studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisko, P. H.; Johnson, N. L.; Opiela, J. N.

    2001-01-01

    In a continuing effort to limit future space debris generation, the NASA Policy Directive 8710.3 was issued in May 1997. It requires all NASA-sponsored programs to conduct formal assessments in accordance with NASA Safety Standard 1740.14 to quantify the potential to generate debris and to consider debris mitigation options. Recent improvements to the NASA long-term debris environment model, EVOLVE 4.0, allow for a reassessment of the effects of NASA Safety Standard mitigation measures on the projected debris environment. The NASA Safety Standard guidelines requiring the passivation of upper stages and spacecraft through depletion of on-board energy sources, and the post-mission disposal of satellites may be studied with EVOLVE 4.0. In this paper, we present the results of a set of parametric EVOLVE 4.0 studies. We set our test matrix to include a draconian level of explosion suppression, i.e., passivation in future launches, and post-mission disposal decay time periods ranging from 100 years to 25 years. The post-mission disposal options are initiated at a time 10 years in the future. It is confirmed that explosion suppression alone effects only a minor change in the long-term environment. Post-mission disposal implementation is required to significantly reduce it. But complications arise for the longer tested post-mission disposal lifetime. The enhanced dwell time at low altitudes (the dominant manned spacecraft region of Earth orbits) increases the likelihood that a collision will occur there compared to the lower post-mission disposal lifetime of 25 years.

  3. Evolving Multi Rover Systems in Dynamic and Noisy Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian

    2005-01-01

    In this chapter, we address how to evolve control strategies for a collective: a set of entities that collectively strives to maximize a global evaluation function that rates the performance of the full system. Addressing such problems by directly applying a global evolutionary algorithm to a population of collectives is unworkable because the search space is prohibitively large. Instead, we focus on evolving control policies for each member of the collective, where each member is trying to maximize the fitness of its own population. The main difficulty with this approach is creating fitness evaluation functions for the members of the collective that induce the collective to achieve high performance with respect to the system level goal. To overcome this difficulty, we derive member evaluation functions that are both aligned with the global evaluation function (ensuring that members trying to achieve high fitness results in a collective with high fitness) and sensitive to the fitness of each member (a member's fitness depends more on its own actions than on actions of other members). In a difficult rover coordination problem in dynamic and noisy environments, we show how to construct evaluation functions that lead to good collective behavior. The control policy evolved using aligned and member-sensitive evaluations outperforms global evaluation methods by up to a factor of four. in addition we show that the collective continues to perform well in the presence of high noise levels and when the environment is highly dynamic. More notably, in the presence of a larger number of rovers or rovers with noisy sensors, the improvements due to the proposed method become significantly more pronounced.

  4. Life History Correlates and Extinction Risk of Capital-Breeding Fishes

    SciTech Connect

    Jager, Yetta; Vila-Gispert, Dr Anna; Rose, Kenneth A.

    2008-03-01

    We consider a distinction for fishes, often made for birds and reptiles, between capital-breeding and income-breeding species. Species that follow a capital-breeding strategy tend to evolve longer intervals between reproductive events and tend to have characteristics that we associate with higher extinction risk. To examine whether these ideas are relevant for fishes, we assembled life-history data for fish species, including an index of extinction risk, the interval between spawning events, the degree of parental care, and whether or not the species migrates to spawn. These data were used to evaluate two hypotheses: 1) fish species with a major accessory activity to spawning (migration or parental care) spawn less often and 2) fish species that spawn less often are at greater risk of extinction. We tested these hypotheses by applying two alternative statistical methods that account for phylogenetic correlation in cross-taxon comparisons. The two methods predicted average intervals between spawning events 0.13 to 0.20 years longer for fishes with a major accessory activity. Both accessories, above-average parental care and spawning migration, were individually associated with longer average spawning intervals. We conclude that the capital-breeding paradigm is relevant for fishes. We also confirmed the second hypothesis, that species in higher IUCN extinction risk categories had longer average spawning intervals. Further research is needed to understand the relationship between extinction risk and spawning interval, within the broader context of life history traits and aquatic habitats.

  5. Captive breeding and reintroduction of the endangered masked bobwhite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Gabel, R.R.; Goodwin, J.G.

    1991-01-01

    Efforts to restore the endangered masked bobwhite (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi) to its former range have required 1) habitat acquisition, restoration, and preservation; 2) captive propagation; and 3) reintroduction .bf captive-bred stock. In its role to recover the masked bobwhite, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (U.S. Fish and Wildli e Service) has refined captive breeding techniques; provided captive-produced stock for release; conducted field research on the distribution, limiting factors, and habitat characteristics of this species; and developed release methods. Techniques for the husbandry and captive management, breeding, artificial incubation and hatching of eggs, and rearing of young of the masked bobwhite have been developed. Successful reintroduction techniques for the masked bobwhite have included prerelease conditioning and/or cross-fostering of captive-reared masked bobwhite chicks to a wild-caught, related, vasectomized bobwhite species and their release to the wild as family units. In addition, the establishment by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in 1985 has further enhanced the potential for establishing a self-sustaining population of the masked bobwhite in the U. S. Through continued releases and active management of habitat, therefore, it is believed that the masked bobwhite can become permanently established at the refuge to ensure its continued survival in the wild.

  6. EVOLVE 5.0 historical and projected orbital debris environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisko, P.; Anz-Meador, P.; Opiela, J.; Matney, M.

    The NASA/JSC orbital debris research effort within Earth's low-altitude orbit continues with the upgrade of the debris environment simulation model EVOLVE to version 5.0. Two main improvements to this new version include an updated, expanded set of launch/orbital injection files and an upgraded explosion fragmentation model. The new database includes such improvements as high fidelity launch times and orbital elements, data-derived area-to-mass ratios, and individual object dry mass and physical description. The new explosion model is a modification of the previous version in the 10-cm through 1-mm size regime. This is the debris population that the previous model slightly overestimated. Resulting present day environments are presented in comparison to the US SPACECOM Space Surveillance Network (SSN) catalog and Haystack radar and Haystack Auxiliary Radar (HAX) data. Long-term projection environments, given presumed future launch rates and mitigation measures, are also shown and compared with those of the previous version of EVOLVE.

  7. Genetic distance and species formation in evolving populations.

    PubMed

    Higgs, P G; Derrida, B

    1992-11-01

    We compare the behavior of the genetic distance between individuals in evolving populations for three stochastic models. In the first model reproduction is asexual and the distribution of genetic distances reflects the genealogical tree of the population. This distribution fluctuates greatly in time, even for very large populations. In the second model reproduction is sexual with random mating allowed between any pair of individuals. In this case, the population becomes homogeneous and the genetic distance between pairs of individuals has small fluctuations which vanish in the limit of an infinitely large population. In the third model reproduction is still sexual but instead of random mating, mating only occurs between individuals which are genetically similar to each other. In that case, the population splits spontaneously into species which are in reproductive isolation from one another and one observes a steady state with a continual appearance and extinction of species in the population. We discuss this model in relation to the biological theory of speciation and isolating mechanisms. We also point out similarities between these three models of evolving populations and the theory of disordered systems in physics. PMID:1487829

  8. An Evolvable Space Telescope for Future Astronomical Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.; Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Flannery, Martin; Dailey, Dean

    2015-01-01

    Astronomical flagship missions after the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will require lower cost space telescopes and science instruments. Innovative spacecraft-electro-opto-mechanical system architectures matched to the science requirements are needed for observations for exoplanet characterization, cosmology, dark energy, galactic evolution formation of stars and planets, and many other research areas. The needs and requirements to perform this science will continue to drive us toward larger and larger apertures.Recent technology developments in precision station keeping of spacecraft, interplanetary transfer orbits, wavefront/sensing and control, laser engineering, macroscopic application of nano-technology, lossless optical designs, deployed structures, thermal management, interferometry, detectors and signal processing enable innovative telescope/system architectures with break-through performance.Unfortunately, NASA's budget for Astrophysics is unlikely to be able to support the funding required for the 8-m to 16-m telescopes that have been studied for the follow-on to JWST using similar development/assembly approaches without accounting for too large of a portion of the Astrophysics Division's budget. Consequently, we have been examining the feasibility of developing an 'Evolvable Space Telescope' that would be 3 to 4-m when placed on orbit and then periodically augmented with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope and achieve the performance of a 16-m space telescope.This paper reviews the technologies required for such a mission, identifies candidate architectures, and discusses different science measurement objectives for these architectures.

  9. An evolvable space telescope for future astronomical missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.; Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Flannery, Martin R.; Dailey, Dean R.

    2014-08-01

    Astronomical flagship missions after JWST will require affordable space telescopes and science instruments. Innovative spacecraft-electro-opto-mechanical system architectures matched to the science requirements are needed for observations for exoplanet characterization, cosmology, dark energy, galactic evolution formation of stars and planets, and many other research areas. The needs and requirements to perform this science will continue to drive us toward larger and larger apertures. Recent technology developments in precision station keeping of spacecraft, interplanetary transfer orbits, wavefront/sensing and control, laser engineering, macroscopic application of nano-technology, lossless optical designs, deployed structures, thermal management, interferometry, detectors and signal processing enable innovative telescope/system architectures with break-through performance. Unfortunately, NASA's budget for Astrophysics is unlikely to be able to support the funding required for the 8 m to 16 m telescopes that have been studied as a follow-on to JWST using similar development/assembly approaches without decimating the rest of the Astrophysics Division's budget. Consequently, we have been examining the feasibility of developing an "Evolvable Space Telescope" that would begin as a 3 to 4 m telescope when placed on orbit and then periodically be augmented with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope and achieve the performance of a 16 m or larger space telescope. This paper reviews the approach for such a mission and identifies and discusses candidate architectures.

  10. Structural Analysis of an Evolved Transketolase Reveals Divergent Binding Modes

    PubMed Central

    Affaticati, Pierre E.; Dai, Shao-Bo; Payongsri, Panwajee; Hailes, Helen C.; Tittmann, Kai; Dalby, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    The S385Y/D469T/R520Q variant of E. coli transketolase was evolved previously with three successive smart libraries, each guided by different structural, bioinformatical or computational methods. Substrate-walking progressively shifted the target acceptor substrate from phosphorylated aldehydes, towards a non-phosphorylated polar aldehyde, a non-polar aliphatic aldehyde, and finally a non-polar aromatic aldehyde. Kinetic evaluations on three benzaldehyde derivatives, suggested that their active-site binding was differentially sensitive to the S385Y mutation. Docking into mutants generated in silico from the wild-type crystal structure was not wholly satisfactory, as errors accumulated with successive mutations, and hampered further smart-library designs. Here we report the crystal structure of the S385Y/D469T/R520Q variant, and molecular docking of three substrates. This now supports our original hypothesis that directed-evolution had generated an evolutionary intermediate with divergent binding modes for the three aromatic aldehydes tested. The new active site contained two binding pockets supporting π-π stacking interactions, sterically separated by the D469T mutation. While 3-formylbenzoic acid (3-FBA) preferred one pocket, and 4-FBA the other, the less well-accepted substrate 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde (3-HBA) was caught in limbo with equal preference for the two pockets. This work highlights the value of obtaining crystal structures of evolved enzyme variants, for continued and reliable use of smart library strategies. PMID:27767080

  11. Across-Breed EPD Tables for the Year 2009 Adjusted to Breed Differences for Birth Year of 2007

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of F1 and 3-way cross progeny of 18 breeds of sire and maternal grandsire, respectively, were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects (16 breeds) of weaning weight and among 11 of the 18 breeds for carcass marbling, ribey...

  12. Across-breed EPD tables for the year 2011 adjusted to breed differences for birth year of 2009

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of F1 and 3-way cross progeny of 18 breeds of sire and maternal grandsire, respectively, were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects (16 breeds) of weaning weight and among 13 of the 18 breeds for carcass marbling, ribey...

  13. Across-breed EPD tables for the year 2012 adjusted to breed differences for birth year of 2010

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of F1 and 3-way cross progeny of 18 breeds of sire and maternal grandsire, respectively, were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects (16 breeds) of weaning weight and among 13 of the 18 breeds for carcass marbling, ribey...

  14. Across-Breed EPD Tables for the Year 2010 Adjusted to Breed Differences for Birth Year of 2008

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of F1 and 3-way cross progeny of 18 breeds of sire and maternal grandsire, respectively, were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects (16 breeds) of weaning weight and among 13 of the 18 breeds for carcass marbling, ribey...

  15. Across-breed EPD tables for the year 2016 adjusted to breed differences for birth year of 2014

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of progeny of 18 breeds were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects of weaning weight, among 15 of the 18 breeds for carcass marbling and ribeye area and among 14 of the 18 breeds for fat depth and carcass weight. The r...

  16. Can Fusion and Fission Breeding Help Civilization Survive?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manheiemr, Wallace

    2006-12-01

    As apparent from the title, this author feels that civilization faces a real threat, one which will become obvious and serious within the lifetimes of many readers of this article. This threat is not global warming, but lack of affordable energy. We take for granted turning on a light, or adjusting our thermostats in winter or summer, or filling our cars gas tank; and lose sight of the fact that there are huge and complicated industrial systems which make this possible. But as we run out of petroleum and natural gas, and worry about the environmental and climatic effects of burning coal on the required scale, how can this continue? This paper makes the case that breeding nuclear fuel, by both fusion and fission, is the only way our civilization as we know it, can continue beyond the next half century or so.

  17. Laboratory breeding of the short-lived annual killifish Nothobranchius furzeri.

    PubMed

    Polačik, Matej; Blažek, Radim; Reichard, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Turquoise killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, have an intrinsically short life span, with a median life span of <6 months and a maximum (90%) life span of 9 months. This short life span, which is unique among vertebrates, evolved naturally and has resulted in N. furzeri becoming a widely used laboratory model species in aging research and other disciplines. Here, we describe a protocol for the maintenance and breeding of the species under laboratory conditions. We provide details for egg incubation, hatching, everyday care of juvenile and adult fish, breeding and treatment of most common diseases. Emphasis is given to the fact that the requirements of N. furzeri substantially differ from those of other fish model taxa; N. furzeri live brief lives and in nature undergo nonaquatic embryo development, with consequences for their laboratory culture. PMID:27388556

  18. Laboratory breeding of the short-lived annual killifish Nothobranchius furzeri.

    PubMed

    Polačik, Matej; Blažek, Radim; Reichard, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Turquoise killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, have an intrinsically short life span, with a median life span of <6 months and a maximum (90%) life span of 9 months. This short life span, which is unique among vertebrates, evolved naturally and has resulted in N. furzeri becoming a widely used laboratory model species in aging research and other disciplines. Here, we describe a protocol for the maintenance and breeding of the species under laboratory conditions. We provide details for egg incubation, hatching, everyday care of juvenile and adult fish, breeding and treatment of most common diseases. Emphasis is given to the fact that the requirements of N. furzeri substantially differ from those of other fish model taxa; N. furzeri live brief lives and in nature undergo nonaquatic embryo development, with consequences for their laboratory culture.

  19. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  20. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M.

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  1. The Sub-Annual Breeding Cycle of a Tropical Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, S. James; Martin, Graham R.; Dawson, Alistair; Wearn, Colin P.; Hughes, B. John

    2014-01-01

    Breeding periodicity allows organisms to synchronise breeding attempts with the most favourable ecological conditions under which to raise offspring. For most animal species, ecological conditions vary seasonally and usually impose an annual breeding schedule on their populations; sub-annual breeding schedules will be rare. We use a 16-year dataset of breeding attempts by a tropical seabird, the sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus), on Ascension Island to provide new insights about this classical example of a population of sub-annually breeding birds that was first documented in studies 60 years previously on the same island. We confirm that the breeding interval of this population has remained consistently sub-annual. By ringing >17000 birds and re-capturing a large sample of them at equivalent breeding stages in subsequent seasons, we reveal for the first time that many individual birds also consistently breed sub-annually (i.e. that sub-annual breeding is an individual as well as a population breeding strategy). Ascension Island sooty terns appear to reduce their courtship phase markedly compared with conspecifics breeding elsewhere. Our results provide rare insights into the ecological and physiological drivers of breeding periodicity, indicating that reduction of the annual cycle to just two life-history stages, breeding and moult, is a viable life-history strategy and that moult may determine the minimum time between breeding attempts. PMID:24714514

  2. The sub-annual breeding cycle of a tropical seabird.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, S James; Martin, Graham R; Dawson, Alistair; Wearn, Colin P; Hughes, B John

    2014-01-01

    Breeding periodicity allows organisms to synchronise breeding attempts with the most favourable ecological conditions under which to raise offspring. For most animal species, ecological conditions vary seasonally and usually impose an annual breeding schedule on their populations; sub-annual breeding schedules will be rare. We use a 16-year dataset of breeding attempts by a tropical seabird, the sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus), on Ascension Island to provide new insights about this classical example of a population of sub-annually breeding birds that was first documented in studies 60 years previously on the same island. We confirm that the breeding interval of this population has remained consistently sub-annual. By ringing >17,000 birds and re-capturing a large sample of them at equivalent breeding stages in subsequent seasons, we reveal for the first time that many individual birds also consistently breed sub-annually (i.e. that sub-annual breeding is an individual as well as a population breeding strategy). Ascension Island sooty terns appear to reduce their courtship phase markedly compared with conspecifics breeding elsewhere. Our results provide rare insights into the ecological and physiological drivers of breeding periodicity, indicating that reduction of the annual cycle to just two life-history stages, breeding and moult, is a viable life-history strategy and that moult may determine the minimum time between breeding attempts.

  3. Miniaturized GPS Tags Identify Non-breeding Territories of a Small Breeding Migratory Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Hallworth, Michael T.; Marra, Peter P.

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, we use a small archival global positioning system (GPS) tag to identify and characterize non-breeding territories, quantify migratory connectivity, and identify population boundaries of Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla), a small migratory songbird, captured at two widely separated breeding locations. We recovered 15 (31%) GPS tags with data and located the non-breeding territories of breeding Ovenbirds from Maryland and New Hampshire, USA (0.50 ± 0.15 ha, mean ± SE). All non-breeding territories had similar environmental attributes despite being distributed across parts of Florida, Cuba and Hispaniola. New Hampshire and Maryland breeding populations had non-overlapping non-breeding population boundaries that encompassed 114,803 and 169,233 km2, respectively. Archival GPS tags provided unprecedented pinpoint locations and associated environmental information of tropical non-breeding territories. This technology is an important step forward in understanding seasonal interactions and ultimately population dynamics of populations throughout the annual cycle. PMID:26057892

  4. Breeding programmes for smallholder sheep farming systems: II. Optimization of cooperative village breeding schemes.

    PubMed

    Gizaw, S; van Arendonk, J A M; Valle-Zárate, A; Haile, A; Rischkowsky, B; Dessie, T; Mwai, A O

    2014-10-01

    A simulation study was conducted to optimize a cooperative village-based sheep breeding scheme for Menz sheep of Ethiopia. Genetic gains and profits were estimated under nine levels of farmers' participation and three scenarios of controlled breeding achieved in the breeding programme, as well as under three cooperative flock sizes, ewe to ram mating ratios and durations of ram use for breeding. Under fully controlled breeding, that is, when there is no gene flow between participating (P) and non-participating (NP) flocks, profits ranged from Birr 36.9 at 90% of participation to Birr 21.3 at 10% of participation. However, genetic progress was not affected adversely. When there was gene flow from the NP to P flocks, profits declined from Birr 28.6 to Birr -3.7 as participation declined from 90 to 10%. Under the two-way gene flow model (i.e. when P and NP flocks are herded mixed in communal grazing areas), NP flocks benefited from the genetic gain achieved in the P flocks, but the benefits declined sharply when participation declined beyond 60%. Our results indicate that a cooperative breeding group can be established with as low as 600 breeding ewes mated at a ratio of 45 ewes to one ram, and the rams being used for breeding for a period of two years. This study showed that farmer cooperation is crucial to effect genetic improvement under smallholder low-input sheep farming systems.

  5. Survivability Is More Fundamental Than Evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Michael E.; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2012-01-01

    For a lineage to survive over long time periods, it must sometimes change. This has given rise to the term evolvability, meaning the tendency to produce adaptive variation. One lineage may be superior to another in terms of its current standing variation, or it may tend to produce more adaptive variation. However, evolutionary outcomes depend on more than standing variation and produced adaptive variation: deleterious variation also matters. Evolvability, as most commonly interpreted, is not predictive of evolutionary outcomes. Here, we define a predictive measure of the evolutionary success of a lineage that we call the k-survivability, defined as the probability that the lineage avoids extinction for k generations. We estimate the k-survivability using multiple experimental replicates. Because we measure evolutionary outcomes, the initial standing variation, the full spectrum of generated variation, and the heritability of that variation are all incorporated. Survivability also accounts for the decreased joint likelihood of extinction of sub-lineages when they 1) disperse in space, or 2) diversify in lifestyle. We illustrate measurement of survivability with in silico models, and suggest that it may also be measured in vivo using multiple longitudinal replicates. The k-survivability is a metric that enables the quantitative study of, for example, the evolution of 1) mutation rates, 2) dispersal mechanisms, 3) the genotype-phenotype map, and 4) sexual reproduction, in temporally and spatially fluctuating environments. Although these disparate phenomena evolve by well-understood microevolutionary rules, they are also subject to the macroevolutionary constraint of long-term survivability. PMID:22723844

  6. The evolving block universe and the meshing together of times.

    PubMed

    Ellis, George F R

    2014-10-01

    It has been proposed that spacetime should be regarded as an evolving block universe, bounded to the future by the present time, which continually extends to the future. This future boundary is defined at each time by measuring proper time along Ricci eigenlines from the start of the universe. A key point, then, is that physical reality can be represented at many different scales: hence, the passage of time may be seen as different at different scales, with quantum gravity determining the evolution of spacetime itself at the Planck scale, but quantum field theory and classical physics determining the evolution of events within spacetime at larger scales. The fundamental issue then arises as to how the effective times at different scales mesh together, leading to the concepts of global and local times.

  7. Smart signal processing for an evolving electric grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Leandro Rodrigues Manso; Duque, Calos Augusto; Ribeiro, Paulo F.

    2015-12-01

    Electric grids are interconnected complex systems consisting of generation, transmission, distribution, and active loads, recently called prosumers as they produce and consume electric energy. Additionally, these encompass a vast array of equipment such as machines, power transformers, capacitor banks, power electronic devices, motors, etc. that are continuously evolving in their demand characteristics. Given these conditions, signal processing is becoming an essential assessment tool to enable the engineer and researcher to understand, plan, design, and operate the complex and smart electronic grid of the future. This paper focuses on recent developments associated with signal processing applied to power system analysis in terms of characterization and diagnostics. The following techniques are reviewed and their characteristics and applications discussed: active power system monitoring, sparse representation of power system signal, real-time resampling, and time-frequency (i.e., wavelets) applied to power fluctuations.

  8. The rapidly evolving planetary nebula Hen 3-1357

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gry, C.

    Hen 3-1357 (known as the 'Stingray Nebula') is the youngest Planetary Nebula known in the sky. It has become ionized within the past few decades and its central star seems to be still rapidly evolving in the H-R diagram towards hotter effective temperatures. With this proposal we want to determine the current effective temperature of the central star and the characteristics of the stellar wind thirteen years after its discovery with IUE. This will enable us to determine whether the rapid spectral changes observed in the last few years are the consequence of an episodic post-AGB mass loss event or the result of a continuous evolution in the H-R digram. In any of these cases, the observations will help us to understand this short and, thus, still poorly known transition phase which leads to the formation of a new PN.

  9. Evolvable circuit with transistor-level reconfigurability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoica, Adrian (Inventor); Salazar-Lazaro, Carlos Harold (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    An evolvable circuit includes a plurality of reconfigurable switches, a plurality of transistors within a region of the circuit, the plurality of transistors having terminals, the plurality of transistors being coupled between a power source terminal and a power sink terminal so as to be capable of admitting power between the power source terminal and the power sink terminal, the plurality of transistors being coupled so that every transistor terminal to transistor terminal coupling within the region of the circuit comprises a reconfigurable switch.

  10. Present weather and climate: evolving conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoerling, Martin P; Dettinger, Michael; Wolter, Klaus; Lukas, Jeff; Eischeid, Jon K.; Nemani, Rama; Liebmann, Brant; Kunkel, Kenneth E.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter assesses weather and climate variability and trends in the Southwest, using observed climate and paleoclimate records. It analyzes the last 100 years of climate variability in comparison to the last 1,000 years, and links the important features of evolving climate conditions to river flow variability in four of the region’s major drainage basins. The chapter closes with an assessment of the monitoring and scientific research needed to increase confidence in understanding when climate episodes, events, and phenomena are attributable to human-caused climate change.

  11. Earth As an Evolving Planetary System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meert, Joseph G.

    2005-05-01

    ``System'' is an overused buzzword in textbooks covering geological sciences. Describing the Earth as a system of component parts is a reasonable concept, but providing a comprehensive framework for detailing the system is a more formidable task. Kent Condie lays out the systems approach in an easy-to-read introductory chapter in Earth as an Evolving Planetary System. In the book, Condie makes a valiant attempt at taking the mélange of diverse subjects in the solid Earth sciences and weaving them into a coherent tapestry.

  12. Breeding Plants for Resistance to Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Boerma, H. Roger; Hussey, Richard S.

    1992-01-01

    Plant breeders and nematologists have developed improved cultivars of important crop species with resistance to plant-parasitic nematodes. The effectiveness of these breeding efforts has depended on the availability of efficient screening procedures, identification of adequate sources of durable resistance, nature of the nematode feeding habit, and knowledge of the inheritance of resistance. These factors determine to a large degree the breeding method and potential success of the research. Systematic searches for nematode resistance have identified resistant germplasm lines within crop species or from related species. When the resistance gene(s) is from related species, incongruity barriers or sterility of the resulting hybrids often must be overcome. In these situations, backcrossing is usually necessary to incorporate the resistance gene(s) and recover the desirable commercial traits of the crop species. If the resistance gene(s) is present within the crop species, the choice of breeding method depends on the inheritance of the resistance, type of screening procedure, and other important breeding objectives for the species. In the future, plant molecular biologists and geneticists will make available novel sources of nematode resistance through incorporation of transgenes from other genera. These efforts will likely require conventional breeding strategies before commercial utilization of an improved resistant cultivar. PMID:19282990

  13. Behavioral profiles of feline breeds in Japan.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji

    2009-08-01

    To clarify the behavioral profiles of 9 feline purebreds, 2 Persian subbreeds and the Japanese domestic cat, a questionnaire survey was distributed to 67 small-animal veterinarians. We found significant differences among breeds in all behavioral traits examined except for "inappropriate elimination". In addition, sexual differences were observed in certain behaviors, including "aggression toward cats", "general activity", "novelty-seeking", and "excitability". These behaviors were more common in males than females, whereas "nervousness" and "inappropriate elimination" were rated higher in females. When all breeds were categorized into four groups on the basis of a cluster analysis using the scores of two behavioral trait factors called "aggressiveness/sensitivity" and "vivaciousness", the group including Abyssinian, Russian Blue, Somali, Siamese, and Chinchilla breeds showed high aggressiveness/sensitivity and low vivaciousness. In contrast, the group including the American Shorthair and Japanese domestic cat displayed low aggressiveness/sensitivity and high vivaciousness, and the Himalayan and Persian group showed mild aggressiveness/sensitivity and very low vivaciousness. Finally, the group containing Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Scottish Fold breeds displayed very low aggressiveness/sensitivity and low vivaciousness. The present results demonstrate that some feline behavioral traits vary by breed and/or sex. PMID:19721357

  14. Breed-specific reference intervals for assessing thyroid function in seven dog breeds.

    PubMed

    Hegstad-Davies, Rebecca L; Torres, Sheila M F; Sharkey, Leslie C; Gresch, Sarah C; Muñoz-Zanzi, Claudia A; Davies, Peter R

    2015-11-01

    Thyroxine (T4), free T4 (FT4), and thyrotropin (TSH) concentrations were measured in serum from 693 healthy representatives from 7 dog breeds (Alaskan Malamute, Collie, English Setter, Golden Retriever, Keeshond, Samoyed, or Siberian Husky) to determine whether breed-specific reference intervals (RIs) are warranted. Veterinarians reviewed the health history, performed a physical examination, and approved laboratory data for the enrolled dogs. Many purebred dogs had T4 and FT4 concentrations that were at, or below, the lower limits previously determined for non-breed-specific RIs. Mean concentrations of T4, FT4, and TSH varied significantly among breeds. The range of mean concentration of T4 (19.7 nmol/L [1.53 µg/dL] in English Setters to 29.0 nmol/L [2.25 µg/dL] in Keeshonds) and FT4 (12.6 pmol/L [0.98 ng/dL] in English Setters to 20.2 pmol/L [1.57 ng/dL] in Samoyeds) was considerable. Median TSH values ranged from 6.10 mIU/L (0.07 ng/mL; Alaskan Malamute and Golden Retriever) to 17.6 mIU/L (0.26 ng/mL; Collie). Mean T4 and FT4 concentrations were higher in females. Increasing age was associated with decreasing T4 and FT4, and increasing TSH concentration. The substantial ranges across breeds of measures of central tendency (mean, median) for all hormones indicate that breed-specific RIs are warranted. RIs encompassing the central 95% of reference values for all breeds combined, and for individual breeds, were calculated using nonparametric (TSH) and robust (T4, FT4) methods. Use of breed-specific RIs in combination with careful attention to the potential for pre-analytical and analytical variability in test results will improve thyroid function assessment in these breeds.

  15. Have plants evolved to self-immolate?

    PubMed

    Bowman, David M J S; French, Ben J; Prior, Lynda D

    2014-01-01

    By definition fire prone ecosystems have highly combustible plants, leading to the hypothesis, first formally stated by Mutch in 1970, that community flammability is the product of natural selection of flammable traits. However, proving the "Mutch hypothesis" has presented an enormous challenge for fire ecologists given the difficulty in establishing cause and effect between landscape fire and flammable plant traits. Individual plant traits (such as leaf moisture content, retention of dead branches and foliage, oil rich foliage) are known to affect the flammability of plants but there is no evidence these characters evolved specifically to self-immolate, although some of these traits may have been secondarily modified to increase the propensity to burn. Demonstrating individual benefits from self-immolation is extraordinarily difficult, given the intersection of the physical environmental factors that control landscape fire (fuel production, dryness and ignitions) with community flammability properties that emerge from numerous traits of multiple species (canopy cover and litter bed bulk density). It is more parsimonious to conclude plants have evolved mechanisms to tolerate, but not promote, landscape fire. PMID:25414710

  16. Evolving resistance to obesity in an insect.

    PubMed

    Warbrick-Smith, James; Behmer, Spencer T; Lee, Kwang Pum; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2006-09-19

    Failure to adapt to a changing nutritional environment comes at a cost, as evidenced by the modern human obesity crisis. Consumption of energy-rich diets can lead to obesity and is associated with deleterious consequences not only in humans but also in many other animals, including insects. The question thus arises whether animals restricted over multiple generations to high-energy diets can evolve mechanisms to limit the deposition of adverse levels of body fat. We show that Plutella xylostella caterpillars reared for multiple generations on carbohydrate-rich foods (either a chemically defined artificial diet or a high-starch Arabidopsis mutant) progressively developed the ability to eat excess carbohydrate without laying it down as fat, providing strong evidence that excess fat storage has a fitness cost. In contrast, caterpillars reared in carbohydrate-scarce environments (a chemically defined artificial diet or a low-starch Arabidopsis mutant) had a greater propensity to store ingested carbohydrate as fat. Additionally, insects reared on the low-starch Arabidopsis mutant evolved a preference for laying their eggs on this plant, whereas those selected on the high-starch Arabidopsis mutant showed no preference. Our results provide an experimental example of metabolic adaptation in the face of changes in the nutritional environment and suggest that changes in plant macronutrient profiles may promote host-associated population divergence.

  17. Collapse of cooperation in evolving games

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Alexander J.; Plotkin, Joshua B.

    2014-01-01

    Game theory provides a quantitative framework for analyzing the behavior of rational agents. The Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma in particular has become a standard model for studying cooperation and cheating, with cooperation often emerging as a robust outcome in evolving populations. Here we extend evolutionary game theory by allowing players’ payoffs as well as their strategies to evolve in response to selection on heritable mutations. In nature, many organisms engage in mutually beneficial interactions and individuals may seek to change the ratio of risk to reward for cooperation by altering the resources they commit to cooperative interactions. To study this, we construct a general framework for the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in arbitrary iterated games. We show that, when there is a tradeoff between the benefits and costs of cooperation, coevolution often leads to a dramatic loss of cooperation in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma. The collapse of cooperation is so extreme that the average payoff in a population can decline even as the potential reward for mutual cooperation increases. Depending upon the form of tradeoffs, evolution may even move away from the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game altogether. Our work offers a new perspective on the Prisoner’s Dilemma and its predictions for cooperation in natural populations; and it provides a general framework to understand the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in iterated interactions. PMID:25422421

  18. Caterpillars evolved from onychophorans by hybridogenesis.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Donald I

    2009-11-24

    I reject the Darwinian assumption that larvae and their adults evolved from a single common ancestor. Rather I posit that, in animals that metamorphose, the basic types of larvae originated as adults of different lineages, i.e., larvae were transferred when, through hybridization, their genomes were acquired by distantly related animals. "Caterpillars," the name for eruciforms with thoracic and abdominal legs, are larvae of lepidopterans, hymenopterans, and mecopterans (scorpionflies). Grubs and maggots, including the larvae of beetles, bees, and flies, evolved from caterpillars by loss of legs. Caterpillar larval organs are dismantled and reconstructed in the pupal phase. Such indirect developmental patterns (metamorphoses) did not originate solely by accumulation of random mutations followed by natural selection; rather they are fully consistent with my concept of evolution by hybridogenesis. Members of the phylum Onychophora (velvet worms) are proposed as the evolutionary source of caterpillars and their grub or maggot descendants. I present a molecular biological research proposal to test my thesis. By my hypothesis 2 recognizable sets of genes are detectable in the genomes of all insects with caterpillar grub- or maggot-like larvae: (i) onychophoran genes that code for proteins determining larval morphology/physiology and (ii) sequentially expressed insect genes that code for adult proteins. The genomes of insects and other animals that, by contrast, entirely lack larvae comprise recognizable sets of genes from single animal common ancestors.

  19. Collapse of cooperation in evolving games.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Alexander J; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2014-12-01

    Game theory provides a quantitative framework for analyzing the behavior of rational agents. The Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma in particular has become a standard model for studying cooperation and cheating, with cooperation often emerging as a robust outcome in evolving populations. Here we extend evolutionary game theory by allowing players' payoffs as well as their strategies to evolve in response to selection on heritable mutations. In nature, many organisms engage in mutually beneficial interactions and individuals may seek to change the ratio of risk to reward for cooperation by altering the resources they commit to cooperative interactions. To study this, we construct a general framework for the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in arbitrary iterated games. We show that, when there is a tradeoff between the benefits and costs of cooperation, coevolution often leads to a dramatic loss of cooperation in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The collapse of cooperation is so extreme that the average payoff in a population can decline even as the potential reward for mutual cooperation increases. Depending upon the form of tradeoffs, evolution may even move away from the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game altogether. Our work offers a new perspective on the Prisoner's Dilemma and its predictions for cooperation in natural populations; and it provides a general framework to understand the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in iterated interactions.

  20. Caterpillars evolved from onychophorans by hybridogenesis.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Donald I

    2009-11-24

    I reject the Darwinian assumption that larvae and their adults evolved from a single common ancestor. Rather I posit that, in animals that metamorphose, the basic types of larvae originated as adults of different lineages, i.e., larvae were transferred when, through hybridization, their genomes were acquired by distantly related animals. "Caterpillars," the name for eruciforms with thoracic and abdominal legs, are larvae of lepidopterans, hymenopterans, and mecopterans (scorpionflies). Grubs and maggots, including the larvae of beetles, bees, and flies, evolved from caterpillars by loss of legs. Caterpillar larval organs are dismantled and reconstructed in the pupal phase. Such indirect developmental patterns (metamorphoses) did not originate solely by accumulation of random mutations followed by natural selection; rather they are fully consistent with my concept of evolution by hybridogenesis. Members of the phylum Onychophora (velvet worms) are proposed as the evolutionary source of caterpillars and their grub or maggot descendants. I present a molecular biological research proposal to test my thesis. By my hypothesis 2 recognizable sets of genes are detectable in the genomes of all insects with caterpillar grub- or maggot-like larvae: (i) onychophoran genes that code for proteins determining larval morphology/physiology and (ii) sequentially expressed insect genes that code for adult proteins. The genomes of insects and other animals that, by contrast, entirely lack larvae comprise recognizable sets of genes from single animal common ancestors. PMID:19717430

  1. Evolving resistance to obesity in an insect

    PubMed Central

    Warbrick-Smith, James; Behmer, Spencer T.; Lee, Kwang Pum; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2006-01-01

    Failure to adapt to a changing nutritional environment comes at a cost, as evidenced by the modern human obesity crisis. Consumption of energy-rich diets can lead to obesity and is associated with deleterious consequences not only in humans but also in many other animals, including insects. The question thus arises whether animals restricted over multiple generations to high-energy diets can evolve mechanisms to limit the deposition of adverse levels of body fat. We show that Plutella xylostella caterpillars reared for multiple generations on carbohydrate-rich foods (either a chemically defined artificial diet or a high-starch Arabidopsis mutant) progressively developed the ability to eat excess carbohydrate without laying it down as fat, providing strong evidence that excess fat storage has a fitness cost. In contrast, caterpillars reared in carbohydrate-scarce environments (a chemically defined artificial diet or a low-starch Arabidopsis mutant) had a greater propensity to store ingested carbohydrate as fat. Additionally, insects reared on the low-starch Arabidopsis mutant evolved a preference for laying their eggs on this plant, whereas those selected on the high-starch Arabidopsis mutant showed no preference. Our results provide an experimental example of metabolic adaptation in the face of changes in the nutritional environment and suggest that changes in plant macronutrient profiles may promote host-associated population divergence. PMID:16968774

  2. Shaping the outflows of evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohamed, Shazrene

    2015-08-01

    Both hot and cool evolved stars, e.g., red (super)giants and Wolf-Rayet stars, lose copious amounts of mass, momentum and mechanical energy through powerful, dense stellar winds. The interaction of these outflows with their surroundings results in highly structured and complex circumstellar environments, often featuring knots, arcs, shells and spirals. Recent improvements in computational power and techniques have led to the development of detailed, multi-dimensional simulations that have given new insight into the origin of these structures, and better understanding of the physical mechanisms driving their formation. In this talk, I will discuss three of the main mechanisms that shape the outflows of evolved stars:- interaction with the interstellar medium (ISM), i.e., wind-ISM interactions- interaction with a stellar wind, either from a previous phase of evolution or the wind from a companion star, i.e., wind-wind interactions- and interaction with a companion star that has a weak or insignicant outflow (e.g., a compact companion such as a neutron star or black hole), i.e., wind-companion interactions.I will also highlight the broader implications and impact of these stellar wind interactions for other phenomena, e.g, for symbiotic and X-ray binaries, supernovae and Gamma-ray bursts.

  3. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System. PMID:19129845

  4. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, James M. D.; Ash, Richard D.; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J.; Rumble, Douglas, III; McDonough, William F.; Walker, Richard J.; Taylor, Lawrence A.

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52+/-0.06Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  5. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  6. Environmental stress and evolvability in microbial systems.

    PubMed

    Baquero, F

    2009-01-01

    The sustainability of life on the planet depends on the preservation of the existing microbial systems, which constitutes our major "biological atmosphere". The detection of variations in microbial systems as a result of anthropogenic or natural changes is critical both to detect and assess risks and to programme specific interventions. Changes in microbial systems provokes stress, probably altering the local evolutionary time by changing evolvability (the possibilities of microbes to evolve). Methods should be refined to properly assess diversity in microbial systems. We propose that such diversity estimations should be done on a multi-hierarchical scale, encompassing not only organisms, but sub-cellular entities (e.g. chromosomal domains, plasmids, transposons, integrons, genes, gene modules) and supra-cellular organizations (e.g. clones, populations, communities, ecosystems), applying Hamiltonian criteria of inclusive fitness for the different ensembles. In any of these entities, we can generally identify, in a fractal manner, constant and variable parts. Variation in these entities and ensembles is probably both reduced and increased by environmental stress. Because of that, variation in microbial systems might serve as mirrors or symptoms of the health of the planet. PMID:19220344

  7. The emotion system promotes diversity and evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Giske, Jarl; Eliassen, Sigrunn; Fiksen, Øyvind; Jakobsen, Per J.; Aksnes, Dag L.; Mangel, Marc; Jørgensen, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Studies on the relationship between the optimal phenotype and its environment have had limited focus on genotype-to-phenotype pathways and their evolutionary consequences. Here, we study how multi-layered trait architecture and its associated constraints prescribe diversity. Using an idealized model of the emotion system in fish, we find that trait architecture yields genetic and phenotypic diversity even in absence of frequency-dependent selection or environmental variation. That is, for a given environment, phenotype frequency distributions are predictable while gene pools are not. The conservation of phenotypic traits among these genetically different populations is due to the multi-layered trait architecture, in which one adaptation at a higher architectural level can be achieved by several different adaptations at a lower level. Our results emphasize the role of convergent evolution and the organismal level of selection. While trait architecture makes individuals more constrained than what has been assumed in optimization theory, the resulting populations are genetically more diverse and adaptable. The emotion system in animals may thus have evolved by natural selection because it simultaneously enhances three important functions, the behavioural robustness of individuals, the evolvability of gene pools and the rate of evolutionary innovation at several architectural levels. PMID:25100697

  8. Evolvability of an Optimal Recombination Rate.

    PubMed

    Lobkovsky, Alexander E; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-12-10

    Evolution and maintenance of genetic recombination and its relation to the mutational process is a long-standing, fundamental problem in evolutionary biology that is linked to the general problem of evolution of evolvability. We explored a stochastic model of the evolution of recombination using additive fitness and infinite allele assumptions but no assumptions on the sign or magnitude of the epistasis and the distribution of mutation effects. In this model, fluctuating negative epistasis and predominantly deleterious mutations arise naturally as a consequence of the additive fitness and a reservoir from which new alleles arrive with a fixed distribution of fitness effects. Analysis of the model revealed a nonmonotonic effect of recombination intensity on fitness, with an optimal recombination rate value which maximized fitness in steady state. The optimal recombination rate depended on the mutation rate and was evolvable, that is, subject to selection. The predictions of the model were compatible with the observations on the dependence between genome rearrangement rate and gene flux in microbial genomes.

  9. Collapse of cooperation in evolving games.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Alexander J; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2014-12-01

    Game theory provides a quantitative framework for analyzing the behavior of rational agents. The Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma in particular has become a standard model for studying cooperation and cheating, with cooperation often emerging as a robust outcome in evolving populations. Here we extend evolutionary game theory by allowing players' payoffs as well as their strategies to evolve in response to selection on heritable mutations. In nature, many organisms engage in mutually beneficial interactions and individuals may seek to change the ratio of risk to reward for cooperation by altering the resources they commit to cooperative interactions. To study this, we construct a general framework for the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in arbitrary iterated games. We show that, when there is a tradeoff between the benefits and costs of cooperation, coevolution often leads to a dramatic loss of cooperation in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The collapse of cooperation is so extreme that the average payoff in a population can decline even as the potential reward for mutual cooperation increases. Depending upon the form of tradeoffs, evolution may even move away from the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game altogether. Our work offers a new perspective on the Prisoner's Dilemma and its predictions for cooperation in natural populations; and it provides a general framework to understand the coevolution of strategies and payoffs in iterated interactions. PMID:25422421

  10. Have plants evolved to self-immolate?

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, David M. J. S.; French, Ben J.; Prior, Lynda D.

    2014-01-01

    By definition fire prone ecosystems have highly combustible plants, leading to the hypothesis, first formally stated by Mutch in 1970, that community flammability is the product of natural selection of flammable traits. However, proving the “Mutch hypothesis” has presented an enormous challenge for fire ecologists given the difficulty in establishing cause and effect between landscape fire and flammable plant traits. Individual plant traits (such as leaf moisture content, retention of dead branches and foliage, oil rich foliage) are known to affect the flammability of plants but there is no evidence these characters evolved specifically to self-immolate, although some of these traits may have been secondarily modified to increase the propensity to burn. Demonstrating individual benefits from self-immolation is extraordinarily difficult, given the intersection of the physical environmental factors that control landscape fire (fuel production, dryness and ignitions) with community flammability properties that emerge from numerous traits of multiple species (canopy cover and litter bed bulk density). It is more parsimonious to conclude plants have evolved mechanisms to tolerate, but not promote, landscape fire. PMID:25414710

  11. Evolving MEMS Resonator Designs for Fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornby, Gregory S.; Kraus, William F.; Lohn, Jason D.

    2008-01-01

    Because of their small size and high reliability, microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices have the potential to revolution many areas of engineering. As with conventionally-sized engineering design, there is likely to be a demand for the automated design of MEMS devices. This paper describes our current status as we progress toward our ultimate goal of using an evolutionary algorithm and a generative representation to produce designs of a MEMS device and successfully demonstrate its transfer to an actual chip. To produce designs that are likely to transfer to reality, we present two ways to modify evaluation of designs. The first is to add location noise, differences between the actual dimensions of the design and the design blueprint, which is a technique we have used for our work in evolving antennas and robots. The second method is to add prestress to model the warping that occurs during the extreme heat of fabrication. In future we expect to fabricate and test some MEMS resonators that are evolved in this way.

  12. Improving the breed - Shuttle development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brand, V.

    1985-01-01

    An evaluation is made of design improvements that have been made to the Space Shuttle System, and the performance gains obtained; the most important of these stem from efforts to refine procedures for rendezvous with stricken satellites, in order to repair them. Ascent performance has been improved through Space Shuttle Main Engine thrust improvements and external tank weight reductions. On-orbit living convenience has been enhanced by the addition of small sleeping compartments and a galley. Greater flexibility has been obtained for reentry and landing maneuvers. Attention is given to problems which continue to be posed by the thermal protection tiles.

  13. Evolving Paradigm of Radiotherapy for High-Risk Prostate Cancer: Current Consensus and Continuing Controversies

    PubMed Central

    Juloori, Aditya; Shah, Chirag; Stephans, Kevin; Vassil, Andrew; Tendulkar, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    High-risk prostate cancer is an aggressive form of the disease with an increased risk of distant metastasis and subsequent mortality. Multiple randomized trials have established that the combination of radiation therapy and long-term androgen deprivation therapy improves overall survival compared to either treatment alone. Standard of care for men with high-risk prostate cancer in the modern setting is dose-escalated radiotherapy along with 2-3 years of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). There are research efforts directed towards assessing the efficacy of shorter ADT duration. Current research has been focused on assessing hypofractionated and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) techniques. Ongoing randomized trials will help assess the utility of pelvic lymph node irradiation. Research is also focused on multimodality therapy with addition of a brachytherapy boost to external beam radiation to help improve outcomes in men with high-risk prostate cancer. PMID:27313896

  14. Current and future antimicrobial treatment of gonorrhoea - the rapidly evolving Neisseria gonorrhoeae continues to challenge.

    PubMed

    Unemo, Magnus

    2015-08-21

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to all drugs previously and currently recommended for empirical monotherapy of gonorrhoea. In vitro resistance, including high-level, to the last option ceftriaxone and sporadic failures to treat pharyngeal gonorrhoea with ceftriaxone have emerged. In response, empirical dual antimicrobial therapy (ceftriaxone 250-1000 mg plus azithromycin 1-2 g) has been introduced in several particularly high-income regions or countries. These treatment regimens appear currently effective and should be considered in all settings where local quality assured AMR data do not support other therapeutic options. However, the dual antimicrobial regimens, implemented in limited geographic regions, will not entirely prevent resistance emergence and, unfortunately, most likely it is only a matter of when, and not if, treatment failures with also these dual antimicrobial regimens will emerge. Accordingly, novel affordable antimicrobials for monotherapy or at least inclusion in new dual treatment regimens, which might need to be considered for all newly developed antimicrobials, are essential. Several of the recently developed antimicrobials deserve increased attention for potential future treatment of gonorrhoea. In vitro activity studies examining collections of geographically, temporally and genetically diverse gonococcal isolates, including multidrug-resistant strains particularly with resistance to ceftriaxone and azithromycin, are important. Furthermore, understanding of effects and biological fitness of current and emerging (in vitro induced/selected and in vivo emerged) genetic resistance mechanisms for these antimicrobials, prediction of resistance emergence, time-kill curve analysis to evaluate antibacterial activity, appropriate mice experiments, and correlates between genetic and phenotypic laboratory parameters, and clinical treatment outcomes, would also be valuable. Subsequently, appropriately designed, randomized controlled clinical trials evaluating efficacy, ideal dose, toxicity, adverse effects, cost, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics data for anogenital and, importantly, also pharyngeal gonorrhoea, i.e. because treatment failures initially emerge at this anatomical site. Finally, in the future treatment at first health care visit will ideally be individually-tailored, i.e. by novel rapid phenotypic AMR tests and/or genetic point of care AMR tests, including detection of gonococci, which will improve the management and public health control of gonorrhoea and AMR. Nevertheless, now is certainly the right time to readdress the challenges of developing a gonococcal vaccine.

  15. Current and future antimicrobial treatment of gonorrhoea - the rapidly evolving Neisseria gonorrhoeae continues to challenge.

    PubMed

    Unemo, Magnus

    2015-01-01

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to all drugs previously and currently recommended for empirical monotherapy of gonorrhoea. In vitro resistance, including high-level, to the last option ceftriaxone and sporadic failures to treat pharyngeal gonorrhoea with ceftriaxone have emerged. In response, empirical dual antimicrobial therapy (ceftriaxone 250-1000 mg plus azithromycin 1-2 g) has been introduced in several particularly high-income regions or countries. These treatment regimens appear currently effective and should be considered in all settings where local quality assured AMR data do not support other therapeutic options. However, the dual antimicrobial regimens, implemented in limited geographic regions, will not entirely prevent resistance emergence and, unfortunately, most likely it is only a matter of when, and not if, treatment failures with also these dual antimicrobial regimens will emerge. Accordingly, novel affordable antimicrobials for monotherapy or at least inclusion in new dual treatment regimens, which might need to be considered for all newly developed antimicrobials, are essential. Several of the recently developed antimicrobials deserve increased attention for potential future treatment of gonorrhoea. In vitro activity studies examining collections of geographically, temporally and genetically diverse gonococcal isolates, including multidrug-resistant strains particularly with resistance to ceftriaxone and azithromycin, are important. Furthermore, understanding of effects and biological fitness of current and emerging (in vitro induced/selected and in vivo emerged) genetic resistance mechanisms for these antimicrobials, prediction of resistance emergence, time-kill curve analysis to evaluate antibacterial activity, appropriate mice experiments, and correlates between genetic and phenotypic laboratory parameters, and clinical treatment outcomes, would also be valuable. Subsequently, appropriately designed, randomized controlled clinical trials evaluating efficacy, ideal dose, toxicity, adverse effects, cost, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics data for anogenital and, importantly, also pharyngeal gonorrhoea, i.e. because treatment failures initially emerge at this anatomical site. Finally, in the future treatment at first health care visit will ideally be individually-tailored, i.e. by novel rapid phenotypic AMR tests and/or genetic point of care AMR tests, including detection of gonococci, which will improve the management and public health control of gonorrhoea and AMR. Nevertheless, now is certainly the right time to readdress the challenges of developing a gonococcal vaccine. PMID:26293005

  16. Genetic stability in the Icelandic horse breed.

    PubMed

    Campana, M G; Stock, F; Barrett, E; Benecke, N; Barker, G W W; Seetah, K; Bower, M A

    2012-08-01

    Despite the Icelandic horse enjoying great popularity worldwide, the breed's gene pool is small. This is because of a millennium of isolation on Iceland, population crashes caused by natural disasters and selective breeding. Populations with small effective population sizes are considered to be more at risk of selection pressures such as disease and environmental change. By analysing historic and modern mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear coat colour genes, we examined real-time population dynamics in the Icelandic horse over the last 150 years. Despite the small gene pool of this breed, we found that the effective population size and genetic profile of the Icelandic horse have remained stable over the studied time period.

  17. Age-specific breeding in Emperor Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, J.A.

    2000-01-01

    I studied the frequency with which Emperor Geese (Chen canagica) of known age were observed breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. No one- or two-year old geese were observed on nests. Three-year old geese bred at a lower rate than four-year old geese. These data suggest that patterns of age-specific breeding in Emperor Geese are similar to other sympatrically nesting, large bodied geese [Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)] but delayed relative to smaller bodied geese [Cackling Canada Geese (Branta canadensis minima) and Pacific Black Brant (B. bernicla nigricans)].

  18. To breed or not to breed: a seabird's response to extreme climatic events.

    PubMed

    Cubaynes, Sarah; Doherty, Paul F; Schreiber, E A; Gimenez, Olivier

    2011-04-23

    Intermittent breeding is an important life-history strategy that has rarely been quantified in the wild and for which drivers remain unclear. It may be the result of a trade-off between survival and reproduction, with individuals skipping breeding when breeding conditions are below a certain threshold. Heterogeneity in individual quality can also lead to heterogeneity in intermittent breeding. We modelled survival, recruitment and breeding probability of the red-footed booby (Sula sula), using a 19 year mark-recapture dataset involving more than 11,000 birds. We showed that skipping breeding was more likely in El-Niño years, correlated with an increase in the local sea surface temperature, supporting the hypothesis that it may be partly an adaptive strategy of birds to face the trade-off between survival and reproduction owing to environmental constraints. We also showed that the age-specific probability of first breeding attempt was synchronized among different age-classes and higher in El-Niño years. This result suggested that pre-breeders may benefit from lowered competition with experienced breeders in years of high skipping probabilities.

  19. To breed or not to breed: a seabird's response to extreme climatic events.

    PubMed

    Cubaynes, Sarah; Doherty, Paul F; Schreiber, E A; Gimenez, Olivier

    2011-04-23

    Intermittent breeding is an important life-history strategy that has rarely been quantified in the wild and for which drivers remain unclear. It may be the result of a trade-off between survival and reproduction, with individuals skipping breeding when breeding conditions are below a certain threshold. Heterogeneity in individual quality can also lead to heterogeneity in intermittent breeding. We modelled survival, recruitment and breeding probability of the red-footed booby (Sula sula), using a 19 year mark-recapture dataset involving more than 11,000 birds. We showed that skipping breeding was more likely in El-Niño years, correlated with an increase in the local sea surface temperature, supporting the hypothesis that it may be partly an adaptive strategy of birds to face the trade-off between survival and reproduction owing to environmental constraints. We also showed that the age-specific probability of first breeding attempt was synchronized among different age-classes and higher in El-Niño years. This result suggested that pre-breeders may benefit from lowered competition with experienced breeders in years of high skipping probabilities. PMID:20943677

  20. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  1. Cisgenesis strongly improves introgression breeding and induced translocation breeding of plants.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Evert; Schouten, Henk J

    2007-05-01

    There are two ways for genetic improvement in classical plant breeding: crossing and mutation. Plant varieties can also be improved through genetic modification; however, the present GMO regulations are based on risk assessments with the transgenes coming from non-crossable species. Nowadays, DNA sequence information of crop plants facilitates the isolation of cisgenes, which are genes from crop plants themselves or from crossable species. The increasing number of these isolated genes, and the development of transformation protocols that do not leave marker genes behind, provide an opportunity to improve plant breeding while remaining within the gene pool of the classical breeder. Compared with induced translocation and introgression breeding, cisgenesis is an improvement for gene transfer from crossable plants: it is a one-step gene transfer without linkage drag of other genes, whereas induced translocation and introgression breeding are multiple step gene transfer methods with linkage drag. The similarity of the genes used in cisgenesis compared with classical breeding is a compelling argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants. In the case of the classical breeding method induced translocation breeding, the insertion site of the genes is a priori unknown, as it is in cisgenesis. This provides another argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants, by exempting cisgenesis of plants from the GMO legislations.

  2. Dietary Variation and Evolution of Gene Copy Number among Dog Breeds.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Taylor; Jagoda, Evelyn; Capellini, Terence D

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged human interactions and artificial selection have influenced the genotypic and phenotypic diversity among dog breeds. Because humans and dogs occupy diverse habitats, ecological contexts have likely contributed to breed-specific positive selection. Prior to the advent of modern dog-feeding practices, there was likely substantial variation in dietary landscapes among disparate dog breeds. As such, we investigated one type of genetic variant, copy number variation, in three metabolic genes: glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), phytanol-CoA 2-hydroxylase (PHYH), and pancreatic α-amylase 2B (AMY2B). These genes code for proteins that are responsible for metabolizing dietary products that originate from distinctly different food types: sugar, meat, and starch, respectively. After surveying copy number variation among dogs with diverse dietary histories, we found no correlation between diet and positive selection in either GCKR or PHYH. Although it has been previously demonstrated that dogs experienced a copy number increase in AMY2B relative to wolves during or after the dog domestication process, we demonstrate that positive selection continued to act on amylase copy number in dog breeds that consumed starch-rich diets in time periods after domestication. Furthermore, we found that introgression with wolves is not responsible for deterioration of positive selection on AMY2B among diverse dog breeds. Together, this supports the hypothesis that the amylase copy number expansion is found universally in dogs. PMID:26863414

  3. Dietary Variation and Evolution of Gene Copy Number among Dog Breeds.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Taylor; Jagoda, Evelyn; Capellini, Terence D

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged human interactions and artificial selection have influenced the genotypic and phenotypic diversity among dog breeds. Because humans and dogs occupy diverse habitats, ecological contexts have likely contributed to breed-specific positive selection. Prior to the advent of modern dog-feeding practices, there was likely substantial variation in dietary landscapes among disparate dog breeds. As such, we investigated one type of genetic variant, copy number variation, in three metabolic genes: glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), phytanol-CoA 2-hydroxylase (PHYH), and pancreatic α-amylase 2B (AMY2B). These genes code for proteins that are responsible for metabolizing dietary products that originate from distinctly different food types: sugar, meat, and starch, respectively. After surveying copy number variation among dogs with diverse dietary histories, we found no correlation between diet and positive selection in either GCKR or PHYH. Although it has been previously demonstrated that dogs experienced a copy number increase in AMY2B relative to wolves during or after the dog domestication process, we demonstrate that positive selection continued to act on amylase copy number in dog breeds that consumed starch-rich diets in time periods after domestication. Furthermore, we found that introgression with wolves is not responsible for deterioration of positive selection on AMY2B among diverse dog breeds. Together, this supports the hypothesis that the amylase copy number expansion is found universally in dogs.

  4. Dietary Variation and Evolution of Gene Copy Number among Dog Breeds

    PubMed Central

    Reiter, Taylor; Jagoda, Evelyn; Capellini, Terence D.

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged human interactions and artificial selection have influenced the genotypic and phenotypic diversity among dog breeds. Because humans and dogs occupy diverse habitats, ecological contexts have likely contributed to breed-specific positive selection. Prior to the advent of modern dog-feeding practices, there was likely substantial variation in dietary landscapes among disparate dog breeds. As such, we investigated one type of genetic variant, copy number variation, in three metabolic genes: glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), phytanol-CoA 2-hydroxylase (PHYH), and pancreatic α-amylase 2B (AMY2B). These genes code for proteins that are responsible for metabolizing dietary products that originate from distinctly different food types: sugar, meat, and starch, respectively. After surveying copy number variation among dogs with diverse dietary histories, we found no correlation between diet and positive selection in either GCKR or PHYH. Although it has been previously demonstrated that dogs experienced a copy number increase in AMY2B relative to wolves during or after the dog domestication process, we demonstrate that positive selection continued to act on amylase copy number in dog breeds that consumed starch-rich diets in time periods after domestication. Furthermore, we found that introgression with wolves is not responsible for deterioration of positive selection on AMY2B among diverse dog breeds. Together, this supports the hypothesis that the amylase copy number expansion is found universally in dogs. PMID:26863414

  5. Evolving spiking networks with variable resistive memories.

    PubMed

    Howard, Gerard; Bull, Larry; de Lacy Costello, Ben; Gale, Ella; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing is a brainlike information processing paradigm that requires adaptive learning mechanisms. A spiking neuro-evolutionary system is used for this purpose; plastic resistive memories are implemented as synapses in spiking neural networks. The evolutionary design process exploits parameter self-adaptation and allows the topology and synaptic weights to be evolved for each network in an autonomous manner. Variable resistive memories are the focus of this research; each synapse has its own conductance profile which modifies the plastic behaviour of the device and may be altered during evolution. These variable resistive networks are evaluated on a noisy robotic dynamic-reward scenario against two static resistive memories and a system containing standard connections only. The results indicate that the extra behavioural degrees of freedom available to the networks incorporating variable resistive memories enable them to outperform the comparative synapse types. PMID:23614774

  6. Renal cell carcinoma: Evolving and emerging subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Crumley, Suzanne M; Divatia, Mukul; Truong, Luan; Shen, Steven; Ayala, Alberto G; Ro, Jae Y

    2013-01-01

    Our knowledge of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is rapidly expanding. For those who diagnose and treat RCC, it is important to understand the new developments. In recent years, many new renal tumors have been described and defined, and our understanding of the biology and clinical correlates of these tumors is changing. Evolving concepts in Xp11 translocation carcinoma, mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma, multilocular cystic clear cell RCC, and carcinoma associated with neuroblastoma are addressed within this review. Tubulocystic carcinoma, thyroid-like follicular carcinoma of kidney, acquired cystic disease-associated RCC, and clear cell papillary RCC are also described. Finally, candidate entities, including RCC with t(6;11) translocation, hybrid oncocytoma/chromophobe RCC, hereditary leiomyomatosis and RCC syndrome, and renal angiomyoadenomatous tumor are reviewed. Knowledge of these new entities is important for diagnosis, treatment and subsequent prognosis. This review provides a targeted summary of new developments in RCC. PMID:24364021

  7. Evolving olfactory systems on the fly.

    PubMed

    Ramdya, Pavan; Benton, Richard

    2010-07-01

    The detection of odour stimuli in the environment is universally important for primal behaviours such as feeding, mating, kin interactions and escape responses. Given the ubiquity of many airborne chemical signals and the similar organisation of animal olfactory circuits, a fundamental question in our understanding of the sense of smell is how species-specific behavioural responses to odorants can evolve. Recent comparative genomic, developmental and physiological studies are shedding light on this problem by providing insights into the genetic mechanisms that underlie anatomical and functional evolution of the olfactory system. Here we synthesise these data, with a particular focus on insect olfaction, to address how new olfactory receptors and circuits might arise and diverge, offering glimpses into how odour-evoked behaviours could adapt to an ever-changing chemosensory world.

  8. Evolving unipolar memristor spiking neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, David; Bull, Larry; De Lacy Costello, Ben

    2015-10-01

    Neuromorphic computing - brain-like computing in hardware - typically requires myriad complimentary metal oxide semiconductor spiking neurons interconnected by a dense mesh of nanoscale plastic synapses. Memristors are frequently cited as strong synapse candidates due to their statefulness and potential for low-power implementations. To date, plentiful research has focused on the bipolar memristor synapse, which is capable of incremental weight alterations and can provide adaptive self-organisation under a Hebbian learning scheme. In this paper, we consider the unipolar memristor synapse - a device capable of non-Hebbian switching between only two states (conductive and resistive) through application of a suitable input voltage - and discuss its suitability for neuromorphic systems. A self-adaptive evolutionary process is used to autonomously find highly fit network configurations. Experimentation on two robotics tasks shows that unipolar memristor networks evolve task-solving controllers faster than both bipolar memristor networks and networks containing constant non-plastic connections whilst performing at least comparably.

  9. Synchronization in evolving snowdrift game model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Y.; Wu, L.; Zhu, S. Q.

    2009-06-01

    The interaction between the evolution of the game and the underlying network structure with evolving snowdrift game model is investigated. The constructed network follows a power-law degree distribution typically showing scale-free feature. The topological features of average path length, clustering coefficient, degree-degree correlations and the dynamical feature of synchronizability are studied. The synchronizability of the constructed networks changes by the interaction. It will converge to a certain value when sufficient new nodes are added. It is found that initial payoffs of nodes greatly affect the synchronizability. When initial payoffs for players are equal, low common initial payoffs may lead to more heterogeneity of the network and good synchronizability. When initial payoffs follow certain distributions, better synchronizability is obtained compared to equal initial payoff. The result is also true for phase synchronization of nonidentical oscillators.

  10. Hyperhidrosis: evolving concepts and a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Vorkamp, Tobias; Foo, Fung Joon; Khan, Sidra; Schmitto, Jan D; Wilson, Paul

    2010-10-01

    Hyperhidrosis (primary or secondary) describes a disorder of excessive sweating. It has a significant negative impact on quality of life and affects nearly 1% of the population living in the United Kingdom (UK). Axillary involvement is the most common affecting 80% of cases. A common link to these disorders is an extreme non-thermoregulatory sympathetic stimulus of exocrine sweat glands, mostly due to emotional stimuli. Non-surgical treatment involves topical medication, iontophoresis and systemic anti-cholinergics. More recently the use of intradermal botulinum toxin has gained popularity. Surgical treatment reserved for severe cases, not responding to conservative management involves local excision, curettage and thoracoscopic sympathectomy. Evolving concepts for treatment, risks and benefits are discussed in the paper herein. PMID:20709287

  11. A local-world evolving hypernetwork model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Guang-Yong; Liu, Jian-Guo

    2014-01-01

    Complex hypernetworks are ubiquitous in the real system. It is very important to investigate the evolution mechanisms. In this paper, we present a local-world evolving hypernetwork model by taking into account the hyperedge growth and local-world hyperedge preferential attachment mechanisms. At each time step, a newly added hyperedge encircles a new coming node and a number of nodes from a randomly selected local world. The number of the selected nodes from the local world obeys the uniform distribution and its mean value is m. The analytical and simulation results show that the hyperdegree approximately obeys the power-law form and the exponent of hyperdegree distribution is γ = 2 + 1/m. Furthermore, we numerically investigate the node degree, hyperedge degree, clustering coefficient, as well as the average distance, and find that the hypernetwork model shares the scale-free and small-world properties, which shed some light for deeply understanding the evolution mechanism of the real systems.

  12. Resiliently evolving supply-demand networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubido, Nicolás; Grebogi, Celso; Baptista, Murilo S.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to design a transport network such that commodities are brought from suppliers to consumers in a steady, optimal, and stable way is of great importance for distribution systems nowadays. In this work, by using the circuit laws of Kirchhoff and Ohm, we provide the exact capacities of the edges that an optimal supply-demand network should have to operate stably under perturbations, i.e., without overloading. The perturbations we consider are the evolution of the connecting topology, the decentralization of hub sources or sinks, and the intermittence of supplier and consumer characteristics. We analyze these conditions and the impact of our results, both on the current United Kingdom power-grid structure and on numerically generated evolving archetypal network topologies.

  13. Language as an evolving word web.

    PubMed

    Dorogovtsev, S N; Mendes, J F

    2001-12-22

    Human language may be described as a complex network of linked words. In such a treatment, each distinct word in language is a vertex of this web, and interacting words in sentences are connected by edges. The empirical distribution of the number of connections of words in this network is of a peculiar form that includes two pronounced power-law regions. Here we propose a theory of the evolution of language, which treats language as a self-organizing network of interacting words. In the framework of this concept, we completely describe the observed word web structure without any fitting. We show that the two regimes in the distribution naturally emerge from the evolutionary dynamics of the word web. It follows from our theory that the size of the core part of language, the 'kernel lexicon', does not vary as language evolves.

  14. Microbial communities evolve faster in extreme environments

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sheng-Jin; Hua, Zheng-Shuang; Huang, Li-Nan; Li, Jie; Shi, Su-Hua; Chen, Lin-Xing; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Liu, Jun; Hu, Min; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary analysis of microbes at the community level represents a new research avenue linking ecological patterns to evolutionary processes, but remains insufficiently studied. Here we report a relative evolutionary rates (rERs) analysis of microbial communities from six diverse natural environments based on 40 metagenomic samples. We show that the rERs of microbial communities are mainly shaped by environmental conditions, and the microbes inhabiting extreme habitats (acid mine drainage, saline lake and hot spring) evolve faster than those populating benign environments (surface ocean, fresh water and soil). These findings were supported by the observation of more relaxed purifying selection and potentially frequent horizontal gene transfers in communities from extreme habitats. The mechanism of high rERs was proposed as high mutation rates imposed by stressful conditions during the evolutionary processes. This study brings us one stage closer to an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying the adaptation of microbes to extreme environments. PMID:25158668

  15. Costs Associated with Equine Breeding in Kentucky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Cassandra L.

    There were approximately 9 million horses in the United States having a 102 billion impact on the U.S. economy (AHC, 2005). Over 1 million of those horses were involved in the breeding sector. In Kentucky, nearly 18% of the horse population have been involved in breeding. Managing an equine enterprise can be difficult, particularly given that many who undertake such endeavors do not have a background or education in business management. Kentucky Cooperative Extension has produced interactive spreadsheets to help horse owners better understand the costs associated with owning horses or managing certain equine businesses, including boarding and training operations. However, there has been little support for breeders. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to provide owners with a list of services offered for breeding and the costs associated with those services. Survey questions were created from a list of topics pertinent to equine breeding and from that list of questions, an electronic survey was created. The survey was sent via Qualtrics Survey Software to collect information on stallion and mare management costs as well as expenses related to owning and breeding. Question topics included veterinary and housing costs, management and advertising expenses, and membership fees. A total of 78 farms were selected from the 2013 breeder's listings for the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association (n = 39) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club (n = 26), and other breed association contacts (n = 13). These farms were selected from the lists by outside individuals who were not related to the project. Participants were asked to answer all questions relevant to the farm. After the initial survey distribution, follow-up e-mails and phone calls were conducted in order to answer any questions participants might have had about the survey. Survey response rate was 32.1% (25 of 78 surveys returned). Farms in Kentucky had an average of two farm-owned and two outside

  16. Possible mechanisms of host resistance to Haemonchus contortus infection in sheep breeds native to the Canary Islands

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Zhengyu; González, Jorge Francisco; Hernandez, Julia N.; McNeilly, Tom N.; Corripio-Miyar, Yolanda; Frew, David; Morrison, Tyler; Yu, Peng; Li, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Haemonchus contortus appears to be the most economically important helminth parasite for small ruminant production in many regions of the world. The two sheep breeds native to the Canary Islands display distinctly different resistant phenotypes under both natural and experimental infections. Canaria Hair Breed (CHB) tends to have significantly lower worm burden and delayed and reduced egg production than the susceptible Canaria Sheep (CS). To understand molecular mechanisms underlying host resistance, we compared the abomasal mucosal transcriptome of the two breeds in response to Haemonchus infection using RNAseq technology. The transcript abundance of 711 and 50 genes were significantly impacted by infection in CHB and CS, respectively (false discovery rate <0.05) while 27 of these genes were significantly affected in both breeds. Likewise, 477 and 16 Gene Ontology (GO) terms were significantly enriched in CHB and CS, respectively (P < 1.0 × 10−4). A broad range of mechanisms have evolved in resistant CHB to provide protection against the parasite. Our findings suggest that readily inducible acute inflammatory responses, complement activation, accelerated cell proliferation and subsequent tissue repair, and immunity directed against parasite fecundity all contributed to the development of host resistance to parasitic infection in the resistant breed. PMID:27197554

  17. Evolving circuits in seconds: experiments with a stand-alone board-level evolvable system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoica, A.; Zebulum, R. S.; Ferguson, M. I.; Keymeulen, D.; Duong, V.; Guo, X.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to illustrate a stand-alone board-level evolvable system (SABLES) and its performance, and second to illustrate some problems that occur during evolution with real hardware in the loop, or when the intention of the user is not completely reflected in the fitness function.

  18. How evolved psychological mechanisms empower cultural group selection.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Joseph; Boyd, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Driven by intergroup competition, social norms, beliefs, and practices can evolve in ways that more effectively tap into a wide variety of evolved psychological mechanisms to foster group-beneficial behavior. The more powerful such evolved mechanisms are, the more effectively culture can potentially harness and manipulate them to generate greater phenotypic variation across groups, thereby fueling cultural group selection. PMID:27561383

  19. Metabolic networks evolve towards states of maximum entropy production

    PubMed Central

    Unrean, Pornkamol; Srienc, Friedrich

    2011-01-01

    A metabolic network can be described by a set of elementary modes or pathways representing discrete metabolic states that support cell function. We have recently shown that in the most likely metabolic state the usage probability of individual elementary modes is distributed according to the Boltzmann distribution law while complying with the principle of maximum entropy production. To demonstrate that a metabolic network evolves towards such state we have carried out adaptive evolution experiments with Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum operating with a reduced metabolic functionality based on a reduced set of elementary modes. In such reduced metabolic network metabolic fluxes can be conveniently computed from the measured metabolite secretion pattern. Over a time span of 300 generations the specific growth rate of the strain continuously increased together with a continuous increase in the rate of entropy production. We show that the rate of entropy production asymptotically approaches the maximum entropy production rate predicted from the state when the usage probability of individual elementary modes is distributed according to the Boltzmann distribution. Therefore, the outcome of evolution of a complex biological system can be predicted in highly quantitative terms using basic statistical mechanical principles. PMID:21903175

  20. Development and application of biological technologies in fish genetic breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kang; Duan, Wei; Xiao, Jun; Tao, Min; Zhang, Chun; Liu, Yun; Liu, ShaoJun

    2015-02-01

    Fish genetic breeding is a process that remolds heritable traits to obtain neotype and improved varieties. For the purpose of genetic improvement, researchers can select for desirable genetic traits, integrate a suite of traits from different donors, or alter the innate genetic traits of a species. These improved varieties have, in many cases, facilitated the development of the aquaculture industry by lowering costs and increasing both quality and yield. In this review, we present the pertinent literatures and summarize the biological bases and application of selection breeding technologies (containing traditional selective breeding, molecular marker-assisted breeding, genome-wide selective breeding and breeding by controlling single-sex groups), integration breeding technologies (containing cross breeding, nuclear transplantation, germline stem cells and germ cells transplantation, artificial gynogenesis, artificial androgenesis and polyploid breeding) and modification breeding technologies (represented by transgenic breeding) in fish genetic breeding. Additionally, we discuss the progress our laboratory has made in the field of chromosomal ploidy breeding of fish, including distant hybridization, gynogenesis, and androgenesis. Finally, we systematically summarize the research status and known problems associated with each technology. PMID:25595050

  1. Development and application of biological technologies in fish genetic breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kang; Duan, Wei; Xiao, Jun; Tao, Min; Zhang, Chun; Liu, Yun; Liu, ShaoJun

    2015-02-01

    Fish genetic breeding is a process that remolds heritable traits to obtain neotype and improved varieties. For the purpose of genetic improvement, researchers can select for desirable genetic traits, integrate a suite of traits from different donors, or alter the innate genetic traits of a species. These improved varieties have, in many cases, facilitated the development of the aquaculture industry by lowering costs and increasing both quality and yield. In this review, we present the pertinent literatures and summarize the biological bases and application of selection breeding technologies (containing traditional selective breeding, molecular marker-assisted breeding, genome-wide selective breeding and breeding by controlling single-sex groups), integration breeding technologies (containing cross breeding, nuclear transplantation, germline stem cells and germ cells transplantation, artificial gynogenesis, artificial androgenesis and polyploid breeding) and modification breeding technologies (represented by transgenic breeding) in fish genetic breeding. Additionally, we discuss the progress our laboratory has made in the field of chromosomal ploidy breeding of fish, including distant hybridization, gynogenesis, and androgenesis. Finally, we systematically summarize the research status and known problems associated with each technology.

  2. Strategic Plan for the North American Breeding Bird Survey: 2006-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    program to continue to meet the evolving needs of the conservation community for information on bird population change. By setting clear goals, strategies, and measures of success, this plan provides a cohesive framework and vision for maintenance and development of the BBS. The plan identifies two major goals for the BBS, with a number of strategies and objectives to achieve these goals. Over the next 5 years, progress made in addressing each long-term goal and its associated 5-year strategies and objectives will gage the plan's success. Specific actions, projected outcomes, and measures of success related to accomplishing these are outlined in Table 1, with a timeline in Table 2. The two main goals for the program, with a summary of the strategies to achieve them, are: Goal 1: Collect scientifically credible measures of the status and trends of North American bird populations at continental and regional scales. The North American Breeding Bird Survey will continue to support North American natural resource conservation through the collection of scientifically credible measures of the status and trends of continental bird populations. While doing this, the BBS will work to improve the science behind the program to better meet its mission and the changing needs of the avian conservation community. In partnership with collaborators, the BBS will address detection probability bias and habitat bias, improve analytical methods, and more fully assess and account for observer quality. Moreover, the BBS will improve the quality and breadth of avian population data through strategic increases in route density and the establishment of a Mexican BBS program. Goal 2: Ensure BBS data and analytical results are widely available and easily accessible for use by the avian conservation and management communities. At the heart of the BBS lies a four-million-record database containing more than 40 years of data on more than 600 bird species. These data are of no valu

  3. Combination solar hothouse and silkworm breeding house

    SciTech Connect

    Vardiashvili, A.B.; Muradov, M.; Kim, V.D.

    1980-01-01

    The basic arrangement is shown for a combination silkworm breeding house and solar hothouse with subsoil irrigation and accumulation of heat; it employs a semicylindrical film covering. The process of accumulation of solar heat in the subsoil pebble stores, in water-heater banks, and in the soil is described.

  4. A brief genomic history of tomato breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Here we report a brief genomic history of tomato breeding by analyzing the genomes of 360 diverse accessions collected all over the world. These included 333 accessions from the red fruited clade (S. pimpinellifolium, S. l. var. cerasiforme, and S. lycopersicum) that represent various geographical o...

  5. Marker-Assisted Selection in Soybean Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the late 1990's Nevin Young expressed a cautious optimism for the future of marker-assisted breeding. Although marker-assisted selection (MAS) for soybean cyst nematode (SCN; Heterodera glycines) was offered as a case study on how genotype-based selection could be useful and cost-effective to a p...

  6. Breeding for phytonutrient content; examples from watermelon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding for high phytonutrient fruits and vegetables can be a fairly straightforward endeavor when the compounds of interest produce a visible effect or the methods for quantifying the compounds simple and inexpensive. Lycopene in tomatoes and watermelon is one such compound, since the amount of r...

  7. Marketing Potential of Advanced Breeding Clones

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The accumulation of reducing sugars during cold storage of potato tubers is a serious and costly problem for producers and processors. The degree to which cultivars accumulate reducing sugars during storage determines their processing and market potential. Cultivars or advanced breeding lines with...

  8. Marketing potential of advanced breeding clones

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The accumulation of reducing sugars during cold storage of potato tubers is a serious and costly problem for producers and processors. The degree to which cultivars accumulate reducing sugars during storage determines their processing and market potential. Cultivars or advanced breeding lines with...

  9. [Bayesian methods for genomic breeding value estimation].

    PubMed

    Wang, Chonglong; Ding, Xiangdong; Liu, Jianfeng; Yin, Zongjun; Zhang, Qin

    2014-02-01

    Estimation of genomic breeding values is the key step in genomic selection. The successful application of genomic selection depends on the accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values, which is mostly determined by the estimation method. Bayes-type and BLUP-type methods are the two main methods which have been widely studied and used. Here, we systematically introduce the currently proposed Bayesian methods, and summarize their effectiveness and improvements. Results from both simulated and real data showed that the accuracies of Bayesian methods are higher than those of BLUP methods, especially for the traits which are influenced by QTL with large effect. Because the theories and computation of Bayesian methods are relatively complicated, their use in practical breeding is less common than BLUP methods. However, with the development of fast algorithms and the improvement of computer hardware, the computational problem of Bayesian methods is expected to be solved. In addition, further studies on the genetic architecture of traits will provide Bayesian methods more accurate prior information, which will make their advantage in accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values more prominent. Therefore, the application of Bayesian methods will be more extensive.

  10. Genomics to feed a switchgrass breeding program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development of improved cultivars is one of three pillars, along with sustainable production and efficient conversion, required for dedicated cellulosic bioenergy crops to succeed. Breeding new cultivars is a long, slow process requiring patience, dedication, and motivation to realize gains and adva...

  11. Breed differences in behavioural development in kittens.

    PubMed

    Marchei, P; Diverio, S; Falocci, N; Fatjó, J; Ruiz-de-la-Torre, J L; Manteca, X

    2009-03-23

    Differences in behaviour of pure breed cats have been suggested but not wholly investigated. Oriental/Siamese/Abyssinian (OSA) kittens (n=43) were weekly compared with Norwegian Forest (NFO) kittens (n=39) from the 4th to the 10th week of age in a repeated Open Field Test (OFT) paradigm. Heart rate (HR) and rectal temperature (RT) before and after the test, and behavioural responses during the OFT were recorded. Behaviours registered were analysed by focal animal sampling. Significant breed differences were found; cats of the northern zones (NFO) seem to develop earlier thermoregulatory abilities. Precocious opening of eyes, higher locomotion scores and longer time spent standing, observed in OSA kittens may indicate an earlier neurological development. Inter breed differences recorded for exploration and locomotion seem to indicate coping style divergences: in the OFT challenging situation OSA kittens presented higher emotional tachycardia and performed more passively, with a faster decline in exploration and locomotion scores. NFO kittens exerted a more active behaviour as they spent more time exploring the arena and in escape attempts. Notwithstanding OSA and NFO cat selection was mainly aimed to improve divergent morphological traits, some different behavioural and physiological traits seem to have been maintained or co-selected within each breed.

  12. Stamina and Clout Define This Rare Breed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrington-Lueker, Donna

    1991-01-01

    Takeover artists are a rare breed. Persons hired to put bankrupt school systems back on the road to academic solvency need stamina, clout, and plenty of experience. For all their state-given powers, takeover superintendents must identify key constituencies, build bridges, and promote belief in change from within. (MLH)

  13. Recent advances in peanut breeding and genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most previous advances in peanut cultivar development have been made using conventional breeding methods for self-pollinated crops. Peanut has lagged behind many other crops on use of molecular genetic technology for cultivar development in part due to lack of investment, but also because of low le...

  14. Breeding lettuce for fresh-cut processing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lettuce is increasingly consumed in fresh-cut packaged salads. New cultivars specifically bred for this use can enhance production and processing efficiency and extend shelf life. Cultivars with novel head architectures and leaf traits are being released by private and public breeding programs with ...

  15. A New Breed of Environmental Film

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malamud, Randy

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author reports how today's environmental film festivals feature a new breed of documentary that offer nuanced narratives about intricate technologies. The author relates that the environmental films he grew up with sedately depicted the quiet sublimity of the wilderness. Today's films, the author observes, aim far beyond a…

  16. Busting the New Breed of Plagiarist.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bugeja, Michael

    2000-01-01

    The new breed of plagiarists knows that stealing from the World Wide Web is quicker than stealing from the library at universities that typically provide online services. The new plagiarists have been weaned on chat rooms, guest books, news groups, mailing lists, MOOs, and MUDs--myriad online ways to procrastinate when final papers are due. The…

  17. Rapid cyling plant breeding in citrus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance or tolerance to huanglongbing (HLB) and other important traits have been identified in several citrus types and relatives and associated markers should be identified soon. What is urgently needed in addition is an accelerated strategy for citrus variety breeding. Identification and use of...

  18. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Kimberly F.; Hefner, Keith; Hitt, David

    2015-01-01

    Designed to enable human space exploration missions, including eventually landings on Mars, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) represents a unique launch capability with a wide range of utilization opportunities, from delivering habitation systems into the "proving ground" of lunar-vicinity space to enabling high-energy transits through the outer solar system. Substantial progress has been made toward the first launch of the initial configuration of SLS, which will be able to deliver more than 70 metric tons of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). Preparations are also underway to evolve the vehicle into more powerful configurations, culminating with the capability to deliver more than 130 metric tons to LEO. Even the initial configuration of SLS will be able to deliver greater mass to orbit than any contemporary launch vehicle, and the evolved configuration will have greater performance than the Saturn V rocket that enabled human landings on the moon. SLS will also be able to carry larger payload fairings than any contemporary launch vehicle, and will offer opportunities for co-manifested and secondary payloads. Because of its substantial mass-lift capability, SLS will also offer unrivaled departure energy, enabling mission profiles currently not possible. The basic capabilities of SLS have been driven by studies on the requirements of human deep-space exploration missions, and continue to be validated by maturing analysis of Mars mission options, including the Global Exploration Roadmap. Early collaboration with science teams planning future decadal-class missions have contributed to a greater understanding of the vehicle's potential range of utilization. As SLS draws closer to its first launch, the Program is maturing concepts for future capability upgrades, which could begin being available within a decade. These upgrades, from multiple unique payload accommodations to an upper stage providing more power for inspace propulsion, have ramifications for a variety of

  19. Breeding productivity of Smith Island black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Jorde, D.G.; Olsen, G.H.; Stotts, D.B.; Harrison, M.K.; Perry, M.C.

    2002-01-01

    We investigated the breeding performance of American black ducks (Anas rubripes) on Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay, to improve our understanding of island black duck breeding ecology and to make management recommendations to enhance productivity. During 1995-96, we implanted 56 female black ducks with 20-g radio transmitters and tracked 35 of the individuals through the breeding season to locate nests, determine nest fate, and identify brood habitat. We also increased preseason banding efforts and compared capture characteristics over 12 years with those from the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, a banding site on the mainland of Tangier Sound. A low rate of nesting (37%), lack of renesting, and poor hatching success (31%) indicated that island salt marsh habitats present a harsh environment for breeding black ducks. Black ducks located 11 of 13 nests (85%) in black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh where they were vulnerable to flooding from extreme tides and to egg predators. No nests were found on forested tree hammocks, a feature that distinguishes Smith Island from nearby South Marsh and Bloodsworth Islands. Nest predators included red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), herring gulls (Larus argentams), fish crows (Corvus ossifragus), and, potentially, Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Unlike mainland red foxes, foxes radio tracked on Smith Island were found to be capable swimmers and effective low marsh predators. We found shoreline meadows of widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima) to be important foraging sites for black ducks and suspected that the virtual absence of fresh water in this high salinity environment (1217+ ppt) to incur some cost in terms of growth and survival of ducklings. Preseason bandings revealed a high proportion of banded adults and a strong positive correlation in age ratios with the Deal Island banding site. This latter finding strongly suggests a negative universal effect of storm tides on nest success for Tangier Sound black ducks. Management to

  20. Mercury-T: Tidally evolving multi-planet systems code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Raymond, Sean N.; Leconte, Jeremy; Hersant, Franck; Correia, Alexandre C. M.

    2015-11-01

    Mercury-T calculates the evolution of semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, rotation period and obliquity of the planets as well as the rotation period evolution of the host body; it is based on the N-body code Mercury (Chambers 1999, ascl:1201.008). It is flexible, allowing computation of the tidal evolution of systems orbiting any non-evolving object (if its mass, radius, dissipation factor and rotation period are known), but also evolving brown dwarfs (BDs) of mass between 0.01 and 0.08 M⊙, an evolving M-dwarf of 0.1 M⊙, an evolving Sun-like star, and an evolving Jupiter.

  1. Breeding season of wolves, Canis lupus, in relation to latitude

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2002-01-01

    A significant relationship was found between Wolf (Canis lupus) breeding dates and latitudes between 12 deg. and 80 deg. N, with Wolves breeding earlier at lower latitudes, probably because of differences in seasonality.

  2. Breeding season of Wolves, Canis lupus, in relation to latitude

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2002-01-01

    A significant relationship was found between Wolf (Canis lupus) breeding dates and latitudes between 12?? and 80??N, with Wolves breeding earlier at lower latitudes, probably because of differences in seasonality.

  3. Variation in the prion protein sequence in Dutch goat breeds.

    PubMed

    Windig, J J; Hoving, R A H; Priem, J; Bossers, A; van Keulen, L J M; Langeveld, J P M

    2016-10-01

    Scrapie is a neurodegenerative disease occurring in goats and sheep. Several haplotypes of the prion protein increase resistance to scrapie infection and may be used in selective breeding to help eradicate scrapie. In this study, frequencies of the allelic variants of the PrP gene are determined for six goat breeds in the Netherlands. Overall frequencies in Dutch goats were determined from 768 brain tissue samples in 2005, 766 in 2008 and 300 in 2012, derived from random sampling for the national scrapie surveillance without knowledge of the breed. Breed specific frequencies were determined in the winter 2013/2014 by sampling 300 breeding animals from the main breeders of the different breeds. Detailed analysis of the scrapie-resistant K222 haplotype was carried out in 2014 for 220 Dutch Toggenburger goats and in 2015 for 942 goats from the Saanen derived White Goat breed. Nine haplotypes were identified in the Dutch breeds. Frequencies for non-wild type haplotypes were generally low. Exception was the K222 haplotype in the Dutch Toggenburger (29%) and the S146 haplotype in the Nubian and Boer breeds (respectively 7 and 31%). The frequency of the K222 haplotype in the Toggenburger was higher than for any other breed reported in literature, while for the White Goat breed it was with 3.1% similar to frequencies of other Saanen or Saanen derived breeds. Further evidence was found for the existence of two M142 haplotypes, M142 /S240 and M142 /P240 . Breeds vary in haplotype frequencies but frequencies of resistant genotypes are generally low and consequently selective breeding for scrapie resistance can only be slow but will benefit from animals identified in this study. The unexpectedly high frequency of the K222 haplotype in the Dutch Toggenburger underlines the need for conservation of rare breeds in order to conserve genetic diversity rare or absent in other breeds. PMID:26991480

  4. Genetic diversity and relationship of Yunnan native cattle breeds and introduced beef cattle breeds.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ying; Lian, Lin-Sheng; Wen, Ji-Kun; Shi, Xian-Wei; Zhu, Fang-Xian; Nie, Long; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2004-02-01

    In this study, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was used to estimate genetic diversity and relationship in 134 samples belonging to two native cattle breeds from the Yunnan province of China (DeHong cattle and DiQing cattle) and four introduced beef cattle breeds (Brahman, Simmental, MurryGrey, and ShortHorn). Ten primers were used, and a total of 84 bands were scored, of which 63 bands (75.0%) were polymorphic. The genetic distance matrix was obtained by proportions of shared fragment. The results indicate that the Yunnnan DeHong cattle breed is closely related to the Brahman (Bos indicus), and the Yunnan DiQing cattle breed is closely related to the Simmental, ShortHorn, and MurryGrey (Bos taurus) breeds. Our results imply that Bos indicus and Bos taurus were the two main origins of Yunnan native cattle. The results also provide the basic genetic materials for conservation of cattle resources and crossbreeding of beef cattle breeds in South China. PMID:15068334

  5. The Moroccan Educational Context: Evolving Multilingualism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daniel, Mayra C.; Ball, Alexis

    2010-01-01

    This article begins an investigation of the educational system of Morocco and its context of language diversity. It examines the Moroccan cultural environment and the ways the multilingualism and education of its people has been and continues to be influenced by geography, colonization periods, religion, and history. The effects of the Educational…

  6. Evolving the 90 percent Pharmaceutical Library

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basile, Victor A.; Smith, Reginald W.

    1970-01-01

    The growing need for library space dictated a quantitative study to ascertain user requirements. A monitoring operation has been established whereby data are continuously collected on the use made of periodicals shelved in a restricted storage area. The data, obtained from photocopy request forms, identify the core collection of journals which…

  7. Evolving Computer Networks in American Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCredie, John W.; Timlake, William P.

    1983-01-01

    Traditions and pressures in the academic environment accounting for early and continuing involvement of higher education with computer networking are described. Several established networks illustrating the wide range of academic applications currently available as well as policy issues of particular significance in academic networks are…

  8. Evolving Leadership Required in South African Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, R. J.

    2012-01-01

    As countries struggle to transform their education systems to equip learners with the knowledge and skills needed to function in rapidly changing societies, the roles and expectations for school leaders have also changed. School reform initiatives that are continually taking place necessitate new ways of thinking with regard to our concept of…

  9. Speciation genetics: current status and evolving approaches

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Jochen B. W.; Lindell, Johan; Backström, Niclas

    2010-01-01

    The view of species as entities subjected to natural selection and amenable to change put forth by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace laid the conceptual foundation for understanding speciation. Initially marred by a rudimental understanding of hereditary principles, evolutionists gained appreciation of the mechanistic underpinnings of speciation following the merger of Mendelian genetic principles with Darwinian evolution. Only recently have we entered an era where deciphering the molecular basis of speciation is within reach. Much focus has been devoted to the genetic basis of intrinsic postzygotic isolation in model organisms and several hybrid incompatibility genes have been successfully identified. However, concomitant with the recent technological advancements in genome analysis and a newfound interest in the role of ecology in the differentiation process, speciation genetic research is becoming increasingly open to non-model organisms. This development will expand speciation research beyond the traditional boundaries and unveil the genetic basis of speciation from manifold perspectives and at various stages of the splitting process. This review aims at providing an extensive overview of speciation genetics. Starting from key historical developments and core concepts of speciation genetics, we focus much of our attention on evolving approaches and introduce promising methodological approaches for future research venues. PMID:20439277

  10. The Evolving Role of Midwives as Laborists.

    PubMed

    DeJoy, Susan A; Sankey, Heather Z; Dickerson, Anissa E; Psaltis, Audrey; Galli, Amy; Burkman, Ronald T

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the history and present state of the midwife as laborist. The role of the midwife and obstetrician laborist/hospitalist is rapidly evolving due to the need to improve patient safety and provide direct care due to reduced resident work hours, as well as practice demands experienced by community providers and other factors. Models under development are customized to meet the needs of different communities and hospitals. Midwives are playing a prominent role in many laborist/hospitalist practices as the first-line hospital provider or as part of a team with physicians. Some models incorporate certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives as faculty to residents and medical students. The midwifery laborist/hospitalist practices at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, are presented as an example of how midwives are functioning as laborists. Essential components of a successful midwife laborist program include interdisciplinary planning, delineation of problems the model should solve, establishment of program metrics, clear practice guidelines and role definitions, and a plan for sustained funding. This article is part of a special series of articles that address midwifery innovations in clinical practice, education, interprofessional collaboration, health policy, and global health. PMID:26619374

  11. Are Electronic Cardiac Devices Still Evolving?

    PubMed Central

    Mabo, P.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Objectives The goal of this paper is to review some important issues occurring during the past year in Implantable devices. Methods First cardiac implantable device was proposed to maintain an adequate heart rate, either because the heart’s natural pacemaker is not fast enough, or there is a block in the heart’s electrical conduction system. During the last forty years, pacemakers have evolved considerably and become programmable and allow to configure specific patient optimum pacing modes. Various technological aspects (electrodes, connectors, algorithms diagnosis, therapies, …) have been progressed and cardiac implants address several clinical applications: management of arrhythmias, cardioversion / defibrillation and cardiac resynchronization therapy. Results Observed progress was the miniaturization of device, increased longevity, coupled with efficient pacing functions, multisite pacing modes, leadless pacing and also a better recognition of supraventricular or ventricular tachycardia’s in order to deliver appropriate therapy. Subcutaneous implant, new modes of stimulation (leadless implant or ultrasound lead), quadripolar lead and new sensor or new algorithm for the hemodynamic management are introduced and briefly described. Each times, the main result occurring during the two past years are underlined and repositioned from the history, remaining limitations are also addressed. Conclusion Some important technological improvements were described. Nevertheless, news trends for the future are also considered in a specific session such as the remote follow-up of the patient or the treatment of heart failure by neuromodulation. PMID:25123732

  12. Extreme insular dwarfism evolved in a mammoth.

    PubMed

    Herridge, Victoria L; Lister, Adrian M

    2012-08-22

    The insular dwarfism seen in Pleistocene elephants has come to epitomize the island rule; yet our understanding of this phenomenon is hampered by poor taxonomy. For Mediterranean dwarf elephants, where the most extreme cases of insular dwarfism are observed, a key systematic question remains unresolved: are all taxa phyletic dwarfs of a single mainland species Palaeoloxodon antiquus (straight-tusked elephant), or are some referable to Mammuthus (mammoths)? Ancient DNA and geochronological evidence have been used to support a Mammuthus origin for the Cretan 'Palaeoloxodon' creticus, but these studies have been shown to be flawed. On the basis of existing collections and recent field discoveries, we present new, morphological evidence for the taxonomic status of 'P'. creticus, and show that it is indeed a mammoth, most probably derived from Early Pleistocene Mammuthus meridionalis or possibly Late Pliocene Mammuthus rumanus. We also show that Mammuthus creticus is smaller than other known insular dwarf mammoths, and is similar in size to the smallest dwarf Palaeoloxodon species from Sicily and Malta, making it the smallest mammoth species known to have existed. These findings indicate that extreme insular dwarfism has evolved to a similar degree independently in two elephant lineages.

  13. Evolving Earth Models and Nuclear Explosion Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, T. C.

    2003-12-01

    One of the most important problems in nuclear explosion monitoring is accurate seismic event location. Traditional location methods rely on estimating travel times in a known Earth model and accounting for heterogeneity through various empirical corrections. The history of location accuracy and precision is closely coupled to evolving theories of the nature of the Earth's interior. LONG SHOT was a 80 Kt explosion conducted on Amchitka Island on October 29, 1965. The travel times recorded from LONG SHOT deviated strongly from a radially symmetric Earth, and in fact showed a pattern consistent a tabular body of relatively high seismic velocity (the subducting North American Plate) validating certain concepts of the then new theory of plate tectonics. Each subsequent advance in conceptual models for the dynamics of the Earth's interior has impacted explosion monitoring. Many of the advances in the theory of the Earth's interior have been spurred by the ideas and work of Don Anderson. These include anelasticity, anisotropy, tomography, the Lehmann discontinuity, and mantle plumes (or lack of). The present state-of-the-art monitoring paradigm incorporates a dynamic Earth model, and the synergy between verification research and basic research on the Earth's interior is quite important.

  14. Extreme insular dwarfism evolved in a mammoth.

    PubMed

    Herridge, Victoria L; Lister, Adrian M

    2012-08-22

    The insular dwarfism seen in Pleistocene elephants has come to epitomize the island rule; yet our understanding of this phenomenon is hampered by poor taxonomy. For Mediterranean dwarf elephants, where the most extreme cases of insular dwarfism are observed, a key systematic question remains unresolved: are all taxa phyletic dwarfs of a single mainland species Palaeoloxodon antiquus (straight-tusked elephant), or are some referable to Mammuthus (mammoths)? Ancient DNA and geochronological evidence have been used to support a Mammuthus origin for the Cretan 'Palaeoloxodon' creticus, but these studies have been shown to be flawed. On the basis of existing collections and recent field discoveries, we present new, morphological evidence for the taxonomic status of 'P'. creticus, and show that it is indeed a mammoth, most probably derived from Early Pleistocene Mammuthus meridionalis or possibly Late Pliocene Mammuthus rumanus. We also show that Mammuthus creticus is smaller than other known insular dwarf mammoths, and is similar in size to the smallest dwarf Palaeoloxodon species from Sicily and Malta, making it the smallest mammoth species known to have existed. These findings indicate that extreme insular dwarfism has evolved to a similar degree independently in two elephant lineages. PMID:22572206

  15. Tearing Mode Stability of Evolving Toroidal Equilibria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pletzer, A.; McCune, D.; Manickam, J.; Jardin, S. C.

    2000-10-01

    There are a number of toroidal equilibrium (such as JSOLVER, ESC, EFIT, and VMEC) and transport codes (such as TRANSP, BALDUR, and TSC) in our community that utilize differing equilibrium representations. There are also many heating and current drive (LSC and TORRAY), and stability (PEST1-3, GATO, NOVA, MARS, DCON, M3D) codes that require this equilibrium information. In an effort to provide seamless compatibility between the codes that produce and need these equilibria, we have developed two Fortran 90 modules, MEQ and XPLASMA, that serve as common interfaces between these two classes of codes. XPLASMA provides a common equilibrium representation for the heating and current drive applications while MEQ provides common equilibrium and associated metric information needed by MHD stability codes. We illustrate the utility of this approach by presenting results of PEST-3 tearing stability calculations of an NSTX discharge performed on profiles provided by the TRANSP code. Using the MEQ module, the TRANSP equilibrium data are stored in a Fortran 90 derived type and passed to PEST3 as a subroutine argument. All calculations are performed on the fly, as the profiles evolve.

  16. Origins of stereoselectivity in evolved ketoreductases

    PubMed Central

    Noey, Elizabeth L.; Tibrewal, Nidhi; Jiménez-Osés, Gonzalo; Osuna, Sílvia; Park, Jiyong; Bond, Carly M.; Cascio, Duilio; Liang, Jack; Zhang, Xiyun; Huisman, Gjalt W.; Tang, Yi; Houk, Kendall N.

    2015-01-01

    Mutants of Lactobacillus kefir short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase, used here as ketoreductases (KREDs), enantioselectively reduce the pharmaceutically relevant substrates 3-thiacyclopentanone and 3-oxacyclopentanone. These substrates differ by only the heteroatom (S or O) in the ring, but the KRED mutants reduce them with different enantioselectivities. Kinetic studies show that these enzymes are more efficient with 3-thiacyclopentanone than with 3-oxacyclopentanone. X-ray crystal structures of apo- and NADP+-bound selected mutants show that the substrate-binding loop conformational preferences are modified by these mutations. Quantum mechanical calculations and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to investigate the mechanism of reduction by the enzyme. We have developed an MD-based method for studying the diastereomeric transition state complexes and rationalize different enantiomeric ratios. This method, which probes the stability of the catalytic arrangement within the theozyme, shows a correlation between the relative fractions of catalytically competent poses for the enantiomeric reductions and the experimental enantiomeric ratio. Some mutations, such as A94F and Y190F, induce conformational changes in the active site that enlarge the small binding pocket, facilitating accommodation of the larger S atom in this region and enhancing S-selectivity with 3-thiacyclopentanone. In contrast, in the E145S mutant and the final variant evolved for large-scale production of the intermediate for the antibiotic sulopenem, R-selectivity is promoted by shrinking the small binding pocket, thereby destabilizing the pro-S orientation. PMID:26644568

  17. An evolving model of online bipartite networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chu-Xu; Zhang, Zi-Ke; Liu, Chuang

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the structure and evolution of online bipartite networks is a significant task since they play a crucial role in various e-commerce services nowadays. Recently, various attempts have been tried to propose different models, resulting in either power-law or exponential degree distributions. However, many empirical results show that the user degree distribution actually follows a shifted power-law distribution, the so-called Mandelbrot’s law, which cannot be fully described by previous models. In this paper, we propose an evolving model, considering two different user behaviors: random and preferential attachment. Extensive empirical results on two real bipartite networks, Delicious and CiteULike, show that the theoretical model can well characterize the structure of real networks for both user and object degree distributions. In addition, we introduce a structural parameter p, to demonstrate that the hybrid user behavior leads to the shifted power-law degree distribution, and the region of power-law tail will increase with the increment of p. The proposed model might shed some lights in understanding the underlying laws governing the structure of real online bipartite networks.

  18. Regulatory mechanisms link phenotypic plasticity to evolvability

    PubMed Central

    van Gestel, Jordi; Weissing, Franz J.

    2016-01-01

    Organisms have a remarkable capacity to respond to environmental change. They can either respond directly, by means of phenotypic plasticity, or they can slowly adapt through evolution. Yet, how phenotypic plasticity links to evolutionary adaptability is largely unknown. Current studies of plasticity tend to adopt a phenomenological reaction norm (RN) approach, which neglects the mechanisms underlying plasticity. Focusing on a concrete question – the optimal timing of bacterial sporulation – we here also consider a mechanistic approach, the evolution of a gene regulatory network (GRN) underlying plasticity. Using individual-based simulations, we compare the RN and GRN approach and find a number of striking differences. Most importantly, the GRN model results in a much higher diversity of responsive strategies than the RN model. We show that each of the evolved strategies is pre-adapted to a unique set of unseen environmental conditions. The regulatory mechanisms that control plasticity therefore critically link phenotypic plasticity to the adaptive potential of biological populations. PMID:27087393

  19. Gastric cancer: current and evolving treatment landscape.

    PubMed

    Sun, Weijing; Yan, Li

    2016-01-01

    Gastric (including gastroesophageal junction) cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. In China, an estimated 420,000 patients were diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2011, ranking this malignancy the second most prevalent cancer type and resulting in near 300,000 deaths. The treatment landscape of gastric cancer has evolved in recent years. Although systemic chemotherapy is still the mainstay treatment of metastatic disease, the introduction of agents targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular endothelia growth factor receptor has brought this disease into the molecular and personalized medicine era. The preliminary yet encouraging clinical efficacy observed with immune checkpoint inhibitors, e.g., anti-programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1, will further shape the treatment landscape for gastric cancer. Molecular characterization of patients will play a critical role in developing new agents, as well as in implementing new treatment options for this disease. PMID:27581465

  20. Relatedness influences signal reliability in evolving robots.

    PubMed

    Mitri, Sara; Floreano, Dario; Keller, Laurent

    2011-02-01

    Communication is an indispensable component of animal societies, yet many open questions remain regarding the factors affecting the evolution and reliability of signalling systems. A potentially important factor is the level of genetic relatedness between signallers and receivers. To quantitatively explore the role of relatedness in the evolution of reliable signals, we conducted artificial evolution over 500 generations in a system of foraging robots that can emit and perceive light signals. By devising a quantitative measure of signal reliability, and comparing independently evolving populations differing in within-group relatedness, we show a strong positive correlation between relatedness and reliability. Unrelated robots produced unreliable signals, whereas highly related robots produced signals that reliably indicated the location of the food source and thereby increased performance. Comparisons across populations also revealed that the frequency for signal production-which is often used as a proxy of signal reliability in empirical studies on animal communication-is a poor predictor of signal reliability and, accordingly, is not consistently correlated with group performance. This has important implications for our understanding of signal evolution and the empirical tools that are used to investigate communication.

  1. Exploring Evolving Media Discourse Through Event Cueing.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yafeng; Steptoe, Michael; Burke, Sarah; Wang, Hong; Tsai, Jiun-Yi; Davulcu, Hasan; Montgomery, Douglas; Corman, Steven R; Maciejewski, Ross

    2016-01-01

    Online news, microblogs and other media documents all contain valuable insight regarding events and responses to events. Underlying these documents is the concept of framing, a process in which communicators act (consciously or unconsciously) to construct a point of view that encourages facts to be interpreted by others in a particular manner. As media discourse evolves, how topics and documents are framed can undergo change, shifting the discussion to different viewpoints or rhetoric. What causes these shifts can be difficult to determine directly; however, by linking secondary datasets and enabling visual exploration, we can enhance the hypothesis generation process. In this paper, we present a visual analytics framework for event cueing using media data. As discourse develops over time, our framework applies a time series intervention model which tests to see if the level of framing is different before or after a given date. If the model indicates that the times before and after are statistically significantly different, this cues an analyst to explore related datasets to help enhance their understanding of what (if any) events may have triggered these changes in discourse. Our framework consists of entity extraction and sentiment analysis as lenses for data exploration and uses two different models for intervention analysis. To demonstrate the usage of our framework, we present a case study on exploring potential relationships between climate change framing and conflicts in Africa.

  2. Metapopulation capacity of evolving fluvial landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2015-04-01

    The form of fluvial landscapes is known to attain stationary network configurations that settle in dynamically accessible minima of total energy dissipation by landscape-forming discharges. Recent studies have highlighted the role of the dendritic structure of river networks in controlling population dynamics of the species they host and large-scale biodiversity patterns. Here, we systematically investigate the relation between energy dissipation, the physical driver for the evolution of river networks, and the ecological dynamics of their embedded biota. To that end, we use the concept of metapopulation capacity, a measure to link landscape structures with the population dynamics they host. Technically, metapopulation capacity is the leading eigenvalue λM of an appropriate "landscape" matrix subsuming whether a given species is predicted to persist in the long run. λM can conveniently be used to rank different landscapes in terms of their capacity to support viable metapopulations. We study how λM changes in response to the evolving network configurations of spanning trees. Such sequence of configurations is theoretically known to relate network selection to general landscape evolution equations through imperfect searches for dynamically accessible states frustrated by the vagaries of Nature. Results show that the process shaping the metric and the topological properties of river networks, prescribed by physical constraints, leads to a progressive increase in the corresponding metapopulation capacity and therefore on the landscape capacity to support metapopulations—with implications on biodiversity in fluvial ecosystems.

  3. Generative Representations for Evolving Families of Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornby, Gregory S.

    2003-01-01

    Since typical evolutionary design systems encode only a single artifact with each individual, each time the objective changes a new set of individuals must be evolved. When this objective varies in a way that can be parameterized, a more general method is to use a representation in which a single individual encodes an entire class of artifacts. In addition to saving time by preventing the need for multiple evolutionary runs, the evolution of parameter-controlled designs can create families of artifacts with the same style and a reuse of parts between members of the family. In this paper an evolutionary design system is described which uses a generative representation to encode families of designs. Because a generative representation is an algorithmic encoding of a design, its input parameters are a way to control aspects of the design it generates. By evaluating individuals multiple times with different input parameters the evolutionary design system creates individuals in which the input parameter controls specific aspects of a design. This system is demonstrated on two design substrates: neural-networks which solve the 3/5/7-parity problem and three-dimensional tables of varying heights.

  4. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Luke J.; Hare, Brian A.; Nunn, Charles L.; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M.; Emery, Nathan J.; Haun, Daniel B. M.; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Platt, Michael L.; Rosati, Alexandra G.; Sandel, Aaron A.; Schroepfer, Kara K.; Seed, Amanda M.; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P.; Wobber, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution. PMID:21927850

  5. Evolving application of biomimetic nanostructured hydroxyapatite

    PubMed Central

    Roveri, Norberto; Iafisco, Michele

    2010-01-01

    By mimicking Nature, we can design and synthesize inorganic smart materials that are reactive to biological tissues. These smart materials can be utilized to design innovative third-generation biomaterials, which are able to not only optimize their interaction with biological tissues and environment, but also mimic biogenic materials in their functionalities. The biomedical applications involve increasing the biomimetic levels from chemical composition, structural organization, morphology, mechanical behavior, nanostructure, and bulk and surface chemical–physical properties until the surface becomes bioreactive and stimulates cellular materials. The chemical–physical characteristics of biogenic hydroxyapatites from bone and tooth have been described, in order to point out the elective sides, which are important to reproduce the design of a new biomimetic synthetic hydroxyapatite. This review outlines the evolving applications of biomimetic synthetic calcium phosphates, details the main characteristics of bone and tooth, where the calcium phosphates are present, and discusses the chemical–physical characteristics of biomimetic calcium phosphates, methods of synthesizing them, and some of their biomedical applications. PMID:24198477

  6. Speciation genetics: current status and evolving approaches.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Jochen B W; Lindell, Johan; Backström, Niclas

    2010-06-12

    The view of species as entities subjected to natural selection and amenable to change put forth by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace laid the conceptual foundation for understanding speciation. Initially marred by a rudimental understanding of hereditary principles, evolutionists gained appreciation of the mechanistic underpinnings of speciation following the merger of Mendelian genetic principles with Darwinian evolution. Only recently have we entered an era where deciphering the molecular basis of speciation is within reach. Much focus has been devoted to the genetic basis of intrinsic postzygotic isolation in model organisms and several hybrid incompatibility genes have been successfully identified. However, concomitant with the recent technological advancements in genome analysis and a newfound interest in the role of ecology in the differentiation process, speciation genetic research is becoming increasingly open to non-model organisms. This development will expand speciation research beyond the traditional boundaries and unveil the genetic basis of speciation from manifold perspectives and at various stages of the splitting process. This review aims at providing an extensive overview of speciation genetics. Starting from key historical developments and core concepts of speciation genetics, we focus much of our attention on evolving approaches and introduce promising methodological approaches for future research venues.

  7. Evolving paradigms in multifocal breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Salgado, Roberto; Aftimos, Philippe; Sotiriou, Christos; Desmedt, Christine

    2015-04-01

    The 7th edition of the TNM defines multifocal breast cancer as multiple simultaneous ipsilateral and synchronous breast cancer lesions, provided they are macroscopically distinct and measurable using current traditional pathological and clinical tools. According to the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the characterization of only the largest lesion is considered sufficient, unless the grade and/or histology are different between the lesions. Here, we review three potentially clinically relevant aspects of multifocal breast cancers: first, the importance of a different intrinsic breast cancer subtype of the various lesions; second, the emerging awareness of inter-lesion heterogeneity; and last but not least, the potential introduction of bias in clinical trials due to the unrecognized biological diversity of these cancers. Although the current strategy to assess the lesion with the largest diameter has clearly its advantages in terms of costs and feasibility, this recommendation may not be sustainable in time and might need to be adapted to be compliant with new evolving paradigms in breast cancer.

  8. Origins and evolvability of the PAX family.

    PubMed

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa R; Salzano, Francisco M; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2015-08-01

    The paired box (PAX) family of transcription/developmental genes plays a key role in numerous stages of embryonic development, as well as in adult organogenesis. There is evidence linking the acquisition of a paired-like DNA binding domain (PD) to domestication of a Tc1/mariner transposon. Further duplication/deletion processes led to at least five paralogous metazoan protein groups, which can be classified into two supergroups, PAXB-like or PAXD-like, using ancestral defining structures; the PD plus an octapeptide motif (OP) and a paired-type homeobox DNA binding domain (PTHD), producing the PD-OP-PTHD structure characteristic of the PAXB-like group, whereas an additional domain, the paired-type homeodomain tail (PHT), is present in the PAXD-like group, producing a PD-OP-PTHD-PHT structure. We examined their patterns of distribution in various species, using both available data and new bioinformatic analyses, including vertebrate PAX genes and their shared and specific functions, as well as inter- and intraspecific variability of PAX in primates. These analyses revealed a relatively conserved PAX network, accompanied by specific changes that led to adaptive novelties. Therefore, both stability and evolvability shaped the molecular evolution of this key transcriptional network. PMID:26321496

  9. Evolving role of MRI in Crohn's disease.

    PubMed

    Yacoub, Joseph H; Obara, Piotr; Oto, Aytekin

    2013-06-01

    MR enterography is playing an evolving role in the evaluation of small bowel Crohn's disease (CD). Standard MR enterography includes a combination of rapidly acquired T2 sequence, balanced steady-state acquisition, and contrast enhanced T1-weighted gradient echo sequence. The diagnostic performance of these sequences has been shown to be comparable, and in some respects superior, to other small bowel imaging modalities. The findings of CD on MR enterography have been well described in the literature. New and emerging techniques such as diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI), cinematography, and magnetization transfer, may lead to improved accuracy in characterizing the disease. These advanced techniques can provide quantitative parameters that may prove to be useful in assessing disease activity, severity, and response to treatment. In the future, MR enterography may play an increasing role in management decisions for patients with small bowel CD; however, larger studies are needed to validate these emerging MRI parameters as imaging biomarkers. PMID:23712842

  10. Maternal genealogical patterns of chicken breeds sampled in Europe.

    PubMed

    Lyimo, C M; Weigend, A; Msoffe, P L; Hocking, P M; Simianer, H; Weigend, S

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the maternal genealogical pattern of chicken breeds sampled in Europe. Sequence polymorphisms of 1256 chickens of the hypervariable region (D-loop) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were used. Median-joining networks were constructed to establish evolutionary relationships among mtDNA haplotypes of chickens, which included a wide range of breeds with different origin and history. Chicken breeds which have had their roots in Europe for more than 3000 years were categorized by their founding regions, encompassing Mediterranean type, East European type and Northwest European type. Breeds which were introduced to Europe from Asia since the mid-19th century were classified as Asian type, and breeds based on crossbreeding between Asian breeds and European breeds were classified as Intermediate type. The last group, Game birds, included fighting birds from Asia. The classification of mtDNA haplotypes was based on Liu et al.'s (2006) nomenclature. Haplogroup E was the predominant clade among the European chicken breeds. The results showed, on average, the highest number of haplotypes, highest haplotype diversity, and highest nucleotide diversity for Asian type breeds, followed by Intermediate type chickens. East European and Northwest European breeds had lower haplotype and nucleotide diversity compared to Mediterranean, Intermediate, Game and Asian type breeds. Results of our study support earlier findings that chicken breeds sampled in Europe have their roots in the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. This is consistent with historical and archaeological evidence of chicken migration routes to Europe.

  11. 50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Approval of cooperative breeding programs... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs. Upon receipt of a complete application, the...

  12. 50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Approval of cooperative breeding programs... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs. Upon receipt of a complete application, the...

  13. 50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Approval of cooperative breeding programs... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs. Upon receipt of a complete application, the...

  14. 50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Approval of cooperative breeding programs... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs. Upon receipt of a complete application, the...

  15. 50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Approval of cooperative breeding programs... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT Permits and Approval of Cooperative Breeding Programs § 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs. Upon receipt of a complete application, the...

  16. Lower mass limit of an evolving interstellar cloud and chemistry in an evolving oscillatory cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarafdar, S. P.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous solution of the equation of motion, equation of state and energy equation including heating and cooling processes for interstellar medium gives for a collapsing cloud a lower mass limit which is significantly smaller than the Jeans mass for the same initial density. The clouds with higher mass than this limiting mass collapse whereas clouds with smaller than critical mass pass through a maximum central density giving apparently similar clouds (i.e., same Av, size and central density) at two different phases of its evolution (i.e., with different life time). Preliminary results of chemistry in such an evolving oscillatory cloud show significant difference in abundances of some of the molecules in two physically similar clouds with different life times. The problems of depletion and short life time of evolving clouds appear to be less severe in such an oscillatory cloud.

  17. Distinct developmental genetic mechanisms underlie convergently evolved tooth gain in sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Nicholas A.; Glazer, Andrew M.; Donde, Nikunj N.; Cleves, Phillip A.; Agoglia, Rachel M.; Miller, Craig T.

    2015-01-01

    Teeth are a classic model system of organogenesis, as repeated and reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal interactions pattern placode formation and outgrowth. Less is known about the developmental and genetic bases of tooth formation and replacement in polyphyodonts, which are vertebrates with continual tooth replacement. Here, we leverage natural variation in the threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus to investigate the genetic basis of tooth development and replacement. We find that two derived freshwater stickleback populations have both convergently evolved more ventral pharyngeal teeth through heritable genetic changes. In both populations, evolved tooth gain manifests late in development. Using pulse-chase vital dye labeling to mark newly forming teeth in adult fish, we find that both high-toothed freshwater populations have accelerated tooth replacement rates relative to low-toothed ancestral marine fish. Despite the similar evolved phenotype of more teeth and an accelerated adult replacement rate, the timing of tooth number divergence and the spatial patterns of newly formed adult teeth are different in the two populations, suggesting distinct developmental mechanisms. Using genome-wide linkage mapping in marine-freshwater F2 genetic crosses, we find that the genetic basis of evolved tooth gain in the two freshwater populations is largely distinct. Together, our results support a model whereby increased tooth number and an accelerated tooth replacement rate have evolved convergently in two independently derived freshwater stickleback populations using largely distinct developmental and genetic mechanisms. PMID:26062935

  18. Distinct developmental genetic mechanisms underlie convergently evolved tooth gain in sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Nicholas A; Glazer, Andrew M; Donde, Nikunj N; Cleves, Phillip A; Agoglia, Rachel M; Miller, Craig T

    2015-07-15

    Teeth are a classic model system of organogenesis, as repeated and reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal interactions pattern placode formation and outgrowth. Less is known about the developmental and genetic bases of tooth formation and replacement in polyphyodonts, which are vertebrates with continual tooth replacement. Here, we leverage natural variation in the threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus to investigate the genetic basis of tooth development and replacement. We find that two derived freshwater stickleback populations have both convergently evolved more ventral pharyngeal teeth through heritable genetic changes. In both populations, evolved tooth gain manifests late in development. Using pulse-chase vital dye labeling to mark newly forming teeth in adult fish, we find that both high-toothed freshwater populations have accelerated tooth replacement rates relative to low-toothed ancestral marine fish. Despite the similar evolved phenotype of more teeth and an accelerated adult replacement rate, the timing of tooth number divergence and the spatial patterns of newly formed adult teeth are different in the two populations, suggesting distinct developmental mechanisms. Using genome-wide linkage mapping in marine-freshwater F2 genetic crosses, we find that the genetic basis of evolved tooth gain in the two freshwater populations is largely distinct. Together, our results support a model whereby increased tooth number and an accelerated tooth replacement rate have evolved convergently in two independently derived freshwater stickleback populations using largely distinct developmental and genetic mechanisms.

  19. Early-branching or fast-evolving eukaryotes? An answer based on slowly evolving positions.

    PubMed

    Philippe, H; Lopez, P; Brinkmann, H; Budin, K; Germot, A; Laurent, J; Moreira, D; Müller, M; Le Guyader, H

    2000-06-22

    The current paradigm of eukaryotic evolution is based primarily on comparative analysis of ribosomal RNA sequences. It shows several early-emerging lineages, mostly amitochondriate, which might be living relics of a progressive assembly of the eukaryotic cell. However, the analysis of slow-evolving positions, carried out with the newly developed slow-fast method, reveals that these lineages are, in terms of nucleotide substitution, fast-evolving ones, misplaced at the base of the tree by a long branch attraction artefact. Since the fast-evolving groups are not always the same, depending on which macromolecule is used as a marker, this explains most of the observed incongruent phylogenies. The current paradigm of eukaryotic evolution thus has to be seriously re-examined as the eukaryotic phylogeny is presently best summarized by a multifurcation. This is consistent with the Big Bang hypothesis that all extant eukaryotic lineages are the result of multiple cladogeneses within a relatively brief period, although insufficiency of data is also a possible explanation for the lack of resolution. For further resolution, rare evolutionary events such as shared insertions and/or deletions or gene fusions might be helpful.

  20. Early-branching or fast-evolving eukaryotes? An answer based on slowly evolving positions.

    PubMed Central

    Philippe, H; Lopez, P; Brinkmann, H; Budin, K; Germot, A; Laurent, J; Moreira, D; Müller, M; Le Guyader, H

    2000-01-01

    The current paradigm of eukaryotic evolution is based primarily on comparative analysis of ribosomal RNA sequences. It shows several early-emerging lineages, mostly amitochondriate, which might be living relics of a progressive assembly of the eukaryotic cell. However, the analysis of slow-evolving positions, carried out with the newly developed slow-fast method, reveals that these lineages are, in terms of nucleotide substitution, fast-evolving ones, misplaced at the base of the tree by a long branch attraction artefact. Since the fast-evolving groups are not always the same, depending on which macromolecule is used as a marker, this explains most of the observed incongruent phylogenies. The current paradigm of eukaryotic evolution thus has to be seriously re-examined as the eukaryotic phylogeny is presently best summarized by a multifurcation. This is consistent with the Big Bang hypothesis that all extant eukaryotic lineages are the result of multiple cladogeneses within a relatively brief period, although insufficiency of data is also a possible explanation for the lack of resolution. For further resolution, rare evolutionary events such as shared insertions and/or deletions or gene fusions might be helpful. PMID:10902687

  1. Extended Hamiltonian approach to continuous tempering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobbo, Gianpaolo; Leimkuhler, Benedict J.

    2015-06-01

    We introduce an enhanced sampling simulation technique based on continuous tempering, i.e., on continuously varying the temperature of the system under investigation. Our approach is mathematically straightforward, being based on an extended Hamiltonian formulation in which an auxiliary degree of freedom, determining the effective temperature, is coupled to the physical system. The physical system and its temperature evolve continuously in time according to the equations of motion derived from the extended Hamiltonian. Due to the Hamiltonian structure, it is easy to show that a particular subset of the configurations of the extended system is distributed according to the canonical ensemble for the physical system at the correct physical temperature.

  2. Long-term climate impacts on breeding bird phenology in Pennsylvania, USA.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Molly E; DeGroote, Lucas W

    2016-10-01

    Climate change is influencing bird phenology worldwide, but we still lack information on how many species are responding over long temporal periods. We assessed how climate affected passerine reproductive timing and productivity at a constant effort mist-netting station in western Pennsylvania using a model comparison approach. Several lines of evidence point to the sensitivity of 21 breeding passerines to climate change over five decades. The trends for temperature and precipitation over 53 years were slightly positive due to intraseasonal variation, with the greatest temperature increases and precipitation declines in early spring. Regardless of broodedness, migration distance, or breeding season, 13 species hatched young earlier over time with most advancing >3 days per decade. Warm springs were associated with earlier captures of juveniles for 14 species, ranging from 1- to 3-day advancement for every 1 °C increase. This timing was less likely to be influenced by spring precipitation; nevertheless, higher rainfall was usually associated with later appearance of juveniles and breeding condition in females. Temperature and precipitation were positively related to productivity for seven and eleven species, respectively, with negative relations evident for six and eight species. We found that birds fledged young earlier with increasing spring temperatures, potentially benefiting some multibrooded species. Indeed, some extended the duration of breeding in these warm years. Yet, a few species fledged fewer juveniles in warmer and wetter seasons, indicating that expected future increases could be detrimental to locally breeding populations. Although there were no clear relationships between life history traits and breeding phenology, species-specific responses to climate found in our study provide novel insights into phenological flexibility in songbirds. Our research underscores the value of long-term monitoring studies and the importance of continuing constant

  3. The development and application of the modern reproductive technologies to horse breeding.

    PubMed

    Allen, W R

    2005-08-01

    Although the horse was probably the first animal to experience and benefit from artificial insemination, it trailed the field somewhat with regard to the application of embryo transfer and other oocyte and embryo-related modern breeding technologies. But with a late run it is now back in mid-field and gaining fast on the other large domestic species in the application of the many technological advances of the past 20 years to sound breeding practice. Improvements in extenders and cryoprotectants have resulted in a veritable upsurge in the transport and insemination of cooled and frozen stallion semen, and parallel improvements in ovulation induction and synchrony, exogenous gonadotrophic stimulation of multiple fertile ovulations and simplified, more efficient methods for non-surgical transfer of embryos to recipient mares, coupled with relaxation of breed society registration restrictions, have together contributed to a similar upsurge in the application of embryo transfer to all breeds and athletic types of horses worldwide, with the continuing and notable exception of the Thoroughbred. Although conventional in vitro fertilization remains something of an unjumped fence in equids, other modern breeding technologies like hysteroscopic low-dose insemination, fluorescence-activated sex sorting of stallion spermatozoa, between-species embryo transfer, embryo freezing and bisection, transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte collection, intracytoplasmic sperm injection for fertilization (ICSI), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and now nuclear transfer (cloning), have all been applied to equids with encouraging success. Cloning, especially, holds enormous promise for the Sporthorse industry to re-create champion geldings in stallion form for breeding purposes. PMID:16008761

  4. Long-term climate impacts on breeding bird phenology in Pennsylvania, USA.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Molly E; DeGroote, Lucas W

    2016-10-01

    Climate change is influencing bird phenology worldwide, but we still lack information on how many species are responding over long temporal periods. We assessed how climate affected passerine reproductive timing and productivity at a constant effort mist-netting station in western Pennsylvania using a model comparison approach. Several lines of evidence point to the sensitivity of 21 breeding passerines to climate change over five decades. The trends for temperature and precipitation over 53 years were slightly positive due to intraseasonal variation, with the greatest temperature increases and precipitation declines in early spring. Regardless of broodedness, migration distance, or breeding season, 13 species hatched young earlier over time with most advancing >3 days per decade. Warm springs were associated with earlier captures of juveniles for 14 species, ranging from 1- to 3-day advancement for every 1 °C increase. This timing was less likely to be influenced by spring precipitation; nevertheless, higher rainfall was usually associated with later appearance of juveniles and breeding condition in females. Temperature and precipitation were positively related to productivity for seven and eleven species, respectively, with negative relations evident for six and eight species. We found that birds fledged young earlier with increasing spring temperatures, potentially benefiting some multibrooded species. Indeed, some extended the duration of breeding in these warm years. Yet, a few species fledged fewer juveniles in warmer and wetter seasons, indicating that expected future increases could be detrimental to locally breeding populations. Although there were no clear relationships between life history traits and breeding phenology, species-specific responses to climate found in our study provide novel insights into phenological flexibility in songbirds. Our research underscores the value of long-term monitoring studies and the importance of continuing constant

  5. Robustness and Evolvability of the Human Signaling Network

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jeong-Rae; Munoz, Amaya Garcia; Kolch, Walter; Cho, Kwang-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Biological systems are known to be both robust and evolvable to internal and external perturbations, but what causes these apparently contradictory properties? We used Boolean network modeling and attractor landscape analysis to investigate the evolvability and robustness of the human signaling network. Our results show that the human signaling network can be divided into an evolvable core where perturbations change the attractor landscape in state space, and a robust neighbor where perturbations have no effect on the attractor landscape. Using chemical inhibition and overexpression of nodes, we validated that perturbations affect the evolvable core more strongly than the robust neighbor. We also found that the evolvable core has a distinct network structure, which is enriched in feedback loops, and features a higher degree of scale-freeness and longer path lengths connecting the nodes. In addition, the genes with high evolvability scores are associated with evolvability-related properties such as rapid evolvability, low species broadness, and immunity whereas the genes with high robustness scores are associated with robustness-related properties such as slow evolvability, high species broadness, and oncogenes. Intriguingly, US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug targets have high evolvability scores whereas experimental drug targets have high robustness scores. PMID:25077791

  6. The effects of sex, age and breeding success on breeding dispersal of pied flycatchers along a pollution gradient.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Ahola, Markus; Laaksonen, Toni; Lehikoinen, Esa

    2008-08-01

    We modelled breeding dispersal of an insectivorous bird, the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) around a point source of heavy metals (a copper smelter). We tested for the effects of sex, age, breeding success and environmental pollution on breeding dispersal distances of F. hypoleuca females and males. Unlike many earlier studies on breeding dispersal, we took into account distance-dependent sampling bias by including in our model the recapture probabilities at different distances from the site of origin. Our results show that F. hypoleuca females disperse much farther (on average 7.9 km) from their breeding sites than what was previously thought. In contrast, males only disperse short distances (on average 190 m). Breeding success affected female breeding dispersal distances depending on female age: young females moved on average 8 km from their previous breeding place irrespective of their breeding success, while old females only seemed to move this far when their fledgling production was good. Females successful in their breeding dispersed as far as less successful females, or, among old birds, even farther. Females which dispersed long distances produced more fledglings after the movement than those staying near their previous breeding site. Degree of environmental pollution had no effect on female or male breeding dispersal distances. A polluted and unproductive environment does not seem to stimulate F. hypoleuca parents to move to more profitable territories. PMID:18543001

  7. Across-breed EPD tables for the year 2008 adjusted to breed differences for birth year of 2006

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Records of F1 and 3-way cross progeny of 16 breeds of sire and maternal grandsire, respectively, were used to estimate differences among the breeds for birth, weaning, and yearling weight and for maternal effects of weaning weight and among 8 of the 16 breeds for carcass marbling, ribeye area, and f...

  8. Lifelong learning: Established concepts and evolving values

    PubMed Central

    Talati, Jamsheer Jehangir

    2014-01-01

    Objective To summarise the concepts critical for understanding the content and value of lifelong learning (LL). Methods Ideas generated by personal experience were combined with those of philosophers, social scientists, educational institutions, governments and UNESCO, to facilitate an understanding of the importance of the basic concepts of LL. Results Autopoietic, continuous, self-determined, informal, vicarious, biographical, lifelong reflexive learning, from and for society, when supported by self-chosen formal courses, can build capacities and portable skills that allow useful responses to challenges and society’s new structures of governance. The need for LL is driven by challenges. LL flows continuously in pursuit of one agenda, which could either be citizenship, as is conventional, or as this article proposes, health. LL cannot be wholly centred on vocation. Continuous medical education and continuous professional development, important in their own right, cannot supply all that is needed. LL aids society with its learning, and it requires an awareness of the environment and structures of society. It is heavily vicarious, draws on formal learning and relies for effectiveness on reflection, self-assessment and personal shaping of views of the world from different perspectives. Conclusion Health is critical to rational thought and peace, and determines society’s capacity to govern itself, and improve its health. LL should be reshaped to focus on health not citizenship. Therefore, embedding learning in society and environment is critical. Each urologist must develop an understanding of the numerous concepts in LL, of which ‘biographicisation’ is the seed that will promote innovative strategies. PMID:26019932

  9. BUBBLE DYNAMICS AT GAS-EVOLVING ELECTRODES

    SciTech Connect

    Sides, Paul J.

    1980-12-01

    Nucleation of bubbles, their growth by diffusion of dissolved gas to the bubble surface and by coalescence, and their detachment from the electrode are all very fast phenomena; furthermore, electrolytically generated bubbles range in size from ten to a few hundred microns; therefore, magnification and high speed cinematography are required to observe bubbles and the phenomena of their growth on the electrode surface. Viewing the action from the front side (the surface on which the bubbles form) is complicated because the most important events occur close to the surface and are obscured by other bubbles passing between the camera and the electrode; therefore, oxygen was evolved on a transparent tin oxide "window" electrode and the events were viewed from the backside. The movies showed that coalescence of bubbles is very important for determining the size of bubbles and in the chain of transport processes; growth by diffusion and by coalescence proceeds in series and parallel; coalescing bubbles cause significant fluid motion close to the electrode; bubbles can leave and reattach; and bubbles evolve in a cycle of growth by diffusion and different modes of coalescence. An analytical solution for the primary potential and current distribution around a spherical bubble in contact with a plane electrode is presented. Zero at the contact point, the current density reaches only one percent of its undisturbed value at 30 percent of the radius from that point and goes through a shallow maximum two radii away. The solution obtained for spherical bubbles is shown to apply for the small bubbles of electrolytic processes. The incremental resistance in ohms caused by sparse arrays of bubbles is given by {Delta}R = 1.352 af/kS where f is the void fraction of gas in the bubble layer, a is the bubble layer thickness, k is the conductivity of gas free electrolyte, and S is the electrode area. A densely populated gas bubble layer on an electrode was modeled as a hexagonal array of

  10. Evolvable Cryogenics (ECRYO) Pressure Transducer Calibration Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Carlos E., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides a summary of the findings of recent activities conducted by Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) In-Space Propulsion Branch and MSFC's Metrology and Calibration Lab to assess the performance of current "state of the art" pressure transducers for use in long duration storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants. A brief historical narrative in this paper describes the Evolvable Cryogenics program and the relevance of these activities to the program. This paper also provides a review of three separate test activities performed throughout this effort, including: (1) the calibration of several pressure transducer designs in a liquid nitrogen cryogenic environmental chamber, (2) the calibration of a pressure transducer in a liquid helium Dewar, and (3) the calibration of several pressure transducers at temperatures ranging from 20 to 70 degrees Kelvin (K) using a "cryostat" environmental chamber. These three separate test activities allowed for study of the sensors along a temperature range from 4 to 300 K. The combined data shows that both the slope and intercept of the sensor's calibration curve vary as a function of temperature. This homogeneous function is contrary to the linearly decreasing relationship assumed at the start of this investigation. Consequently, the data demonstrates the need for lookup tables to change the slope and intercept used by any data acquisition system. This ultimately would allow for more accurate pressure measurements at the desired temperature range. This paper concludes with a review of a request for information (RFI) survey conducted amongst different suppliers to determine the availability of current "state of the art" flight-qualified pressure transducers. The survey identifies requirements that are most difficult for the suppliers to meet, most notably the capability to validate the sensor's performance at temperatures below 70 K.

  11. Did DNA replication evolve twice independently?

    PubMed

    Leipe, D D; Aravind, L; Koonin, E V

    1999-09-01

    DNA replication is central to all extant cellular organisms. There are substantial functional similarities between the bacterial and the archaeal/eukaryotic replication machineries, including but not limited to defined origins, replication bidirectionality, RNA primers and leading and lagging strand synthesis. However, several core components of the bacterial replication machinery are unrelated or only distantly related to the functionally equivalent components of the archaeal/eukaryotic replication apparatus. This is in sharp contrast to the principal proteins involved in transcription and translation, which are highly conserved in all divisions of life. We performed detailed sequence comparisons of the proteins that fulfill indispensable functions in DNA replication and classified them into four main categories with respect to the conservation in bacteria and archaea/eukaryotes: (i) non-homologous, such as replicative polymerases and primases; (ii) containing homologous domains but apparently non-orthologous and conceivably independently recruited to function in replication, such as the principal replicative helicases or proofreading exonucleases; (iii) apparently orthologous but poorly conserved, such as the sliding clamp proteins or DNA ligases; (iv) orthologous and highly conserved, such as clamp-loader ATPases or 5'-->3' exonucleases (FLAP nucleases). The universal conservation of some components of the DNA replication machinery and enzymes for DNA precursor biosynthesis but not the principal DNA polymerases suggests that the last common ancestor (LCA) of all modern cellular life forms possessed DNA but did not replicate it the way extant cells do. We propose that the LCA had a genetic system that contained both RNA and DNA, with the latter being produced by reverse transcription. Consequently, the modern-type system for double-stranded DNA replication likely evolved independently in the bacterial and archaeal/eukaryotic lineages.

  12. A possible molecular metric for biological evolvability.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Aditya; Jayaram, B

    2012-07-01

    Proteins manifest themselves as phenotypic traits, retained or lost in living systems via evolutionary pressures. Simply put, survival is essentially the ability of a living system to synthesize a functional protein that allows for a response to environmental perturbations (adaptation). Loss of functional proteins leads to extinction. Currently there are no universally applicable quantitative metrics at the molecular level for either measuring 'evolvability' of life or for assessing the conditions under which a living system would go extinct and why. In this work, we show emergence of the first such metric by utilizing the recently discovered stoichiometric margin of life for all known naturally occurring (and functional) proteins. The constraint of having well-defined stoichiometries of the 20 amino acids in naturally occurring protein sequences requires utilization of the full scope of degeneracy in the genetic code, i.e. usage of all codons coding for an amino acid, by only 11 of the 20 amino acids. This shows that the non-availability of individual codons for these 11 amino acids would disturb the fine stoichiometric balance resulting in non-functional proteins and hence extinction. Remarkably, these amino acids are found in close proximity of any given amino acid in the backbones of thousands of known crystal structures of folded proteins. On the other hand, stoichiometry of the remaining 9 amino acids, found to be farther/distal from any given amino acid in backbones of folded proteins, is maintained independent of the number of codons available to synthesize them, thereby providing some robustness and hence survivability.

  13. Evolving Recommendations on Prostate Cancer Screening.

    PubMed

    Brawley, Otis W; Thompson, Ian M; Grönberg, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Results of a number of studies demonstrate that the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in and of itself is an inadequate screening test. Today, one of the most pressing questions in prostate cancer medicine is how can screening be honed to identify those who have life-threatening disease and need aggressive treatment. A number of efforts are underway. One such effort is the assessment of men in the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial that has led to a prostate cancer risk calculator (PCPTRC), which is available online. PCPTRC version 2.0 predicts the probability of the diagnosis of no cancer, low-grade cancer, or high-grade cancer when variables such as PSA, age, race, family history, and physical findings are input. Modern biomarker development promises to provide tests with fewer false positives and improved ability to find high-grade cancers. Stockholm III (STHLM3) is a prospective, population-based, paired, screen-positive, prostate cancer diagnostic study assessing a combination of plasma protein biomarkers along with age, family history, previous biopsy, and prostate examination for prediction of prostate cancer. Multiparametric MRI incorporates anatomic and functional imaging to better characterize and predict future behavior of tumors within the prostate. After diagnosis of cancer, several genomic tests promise to better distinguish the cancers that need treatment versus those that need observation. Although the new technologies are promising, there is an urgent need for evaluation of these new tests in high-quality, large population-based studies. Until these technologies are proven, most professional organizations have evolved to a recommendation of informed or shared decision making in which there is a discussion between the doctor and patient. PMID:27249774

  14. Breeding bird response to juniper woodland expansion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenstock, Steven S.; van Riper, Charles

    2001-01-01

    In recent times, pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have expanded into large portions of the Southwest historically occupied by grassland vegetation. From 1997a??1998, we studied responses of breeding birds to one-seed juniper (J. monosperma) woodland expansion at 2 grassland study areas in northern Arizona. We sampled breeding birds in 3 successional stages along a grassland-woodland gradient: un-invaded grassland, grassland undergoing early stages of juniper establishment, and developing woodland. Species composition varied greatly among successional stages and was most different between endpoints of the gradient. Ground-nesting grassland species predominated in uninvaded grassland but declined dramatically as tree density increased. Tree- and cavity-nesting species increased with tree density and were most abundant in developing woodland. Restoration of juniper-invaded grasslands will benefit grassland-obligate birds and other wildlife.

  15. Breeding population inventories and measures of recruitment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowardin, L.M.; Blohm, R.J.; Batt, D.J.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Ankney, C.D.; Johnson, D.H.; Kadlec, J.A.; Krapu, G.L.

    1992-01-01

    In this chapter we review the techniques used to measure two important parameters of waterfowl populations, size of breeding population and recruitment. If waterfowl are to be managed toward goals defined in terms of population sizes such as those in the recently signed North American Waterfowl Management Plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] and Canadian Wildlife Service [CWS] 1986), there must be some measure of population size for the various species. Waterfowl managers usually measure population size during the breeding season, although for some species and in some areas winter inventories may be used. Population size is a function of natality and mortality. Other chapters in this volume deal in detail with the biology of those processes. This chapter discusses procedural aspects of measurement and reviews some of the operational systems that have been used to estimate population size and recruitment, especially in North America.

  16. [Review of transgenic crop breeding in China].

    PubMed

    Huang, Dafang

    2015-06-01

    The development history and fundamental experience of transgenic crops (Genetically modified crops) breeding in China for near 30 years were reviewed. It was illustrated that a scientific research, development and industrialization system of transgenic crops including gene discovery, transformation, variety breeding, commercialization, application and biosafety assessment has been initially established which was few in number in the world. The research innovative capacity of transgenic cotton, rice and corn has been lifted. The research features as well as relative advantages have been initially formed. The problems and challenges of transgenic crop development were discussed. In addition, three suggestions of promoting commercialization, speeding up implementation of the Major National Project of GM Crops, and enhancing science communication were made. PMID:26672365

  17. Breed differences in the frequency of bovine lymphocyte antigens.

    PubMed

    Stear, M J; Brown, S C; Dimmock, C K; Dufty, J H; Hetzel, D J; Mackie, J T; Nicholas, F W; Tierney, T J; Wetherall, J D

    1987-01-01

    Lymphocytes from 1,564 cattle of 18 breeds and cross-bred groups in Australia were tested for major histocompatibility system class 1 antigens. Gene frequencies were calculated for the Angus, Belmont Red, Brahman, Hereford and Holstein-Friesian breeds. There were substantial differences among these breeds in antigen and gene frequency. There were striking differences among all 18 breeds in the presence or absence of certain antigens. Two antigens, CA13 and CA36, were strongly associated in Hereford cattle but occurred independently of each other in the other breeds. PMID:3273412

  18. Reduction of foraging work and cooperative breeding.

    PubMed

    Toyoizumi, Hiroshi; Field, Jeremy

    2014-06-01

    Using simple stochastic models, we discuss how cooperative breeders, especially wasps and bees, can improve their productivity by reducing foraging work. In a harsh environment, where foraging is the main cause of mortality, such breeders achieve greater productivity by reducing their foraging effort below full capacity, and they may thrive by adopting cooperative breeding. This could prevent the population extinction of cooperative breeders under conditions where a population of lone breeders cannot be maintained.

  19. Determinants of breeding distributions of ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Grier, J.W.

    1988-01-01

    The settling of breeding habitat by migratory waterfowl is a topic of both theoretical and practical interest. We use the results of surveys conducted annually during 1955-81 in major breeding areas to examine the factors that affect the distributions of 10 common North American duck species. Three patterns of settling are described: homing, opportunistic, and flexible. Homing is generally more pronounced among species that use more stable (more predictable) wetlands, such as the redhead (Aythya americana), canvasback (A. valisineria), lesser scaup (A. affinis), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (Anas strepera), and northern shoveler (Anas clypeata). Opportunistic settling is more prevalent among species that use less stable (less predictable) wetlands, such as northern pintail (Anas acuta) and blue-winged teal (Anas discors). Flexible settling is exhibited to various degrees by most species.The 10 species are shown to fall along a natural ordination reflecting different life history characteristics. Average values of indices of r- and K-selection indicated that pintail, mallard, blue-winged teal, and shoveler have the most features associated with unstable or unpredictable environments. Gadwall, American wigeon (Anas americana), and green-winged teal (Anas crecca) were intermediate, and attributes of the diving ducks were associated with the use of stable or predictable environments.Some species--notably mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, redhead, and canvasback--tend to fill available breeding habitat first in the central portions of their range, and secondly in peripheral areas. Other species--American wigeon, green-winged teal, northern shoveler, northern pintail, and lesser scaup--fill their habitat in the order it is encountered during spring migration.Age and sex classes within species vary in their settling pattern. Some of this variation can be predicted from the mating systems of ducks in which breeding females, especially successful ones, have a

  20. MHC variability in heritage breeds of chickens.

    PubMed

    Fulton, J E; Lund, A R; McCarron, A M; Pinegar, K N; Korver, D R; Classen, H L; Aggrey, S; Utterbach, C; Anthony, N B; Berres, M E

    2016-02-01

    The chicken Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is very strongly associated with disease resistance and thus is a very important region of the chicken genome. Historically, MHC (B locus) has been identified by the use of serology with haplotype specific alloantisera. These antisera can be difficult to produce and frequently cross-react with multiple haplotypes and hence their application is generally limited to inbred and MHC-defined lines. As a consequence, very little information about MHC variability in heritage chicken breeds is available. DNA-based methods are now available for examining MHC variability in these previously uncharacterized populations. A high density SNP panel consisting of 101 SNP that span a 230,000 bp region of the chicken MHC was used to examine MHC variability in 17 heritage populations of chickens from five universities from Canada and the United States. The breeds included 6 heritage broiler lines, 3 Barred Plymouth Rock, 2 New Hampshire and one each of Rhode Island Red, Light Sussex, White Leghorn, Dark Brown Leghorn, and 2 synthetic lines. These heritage breeds contained from one to 11 haplotypes per line. A total of 52 unique MHC haplotypes were found with only 10 of them identical to serologically defined haplotypes. Furthermore, nine MHC recombinants with their respective parental haplotypes were identified. This survey confirms the value of these non-commercially utilized lines in maintaining genetic diversity. The identification of multiple MHC haplotypes and novel MHC recombinants indicates that diversity is being generated and maintained within these heritage populations.

  1. Breeding ecology of the Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snetsinger, T.J.; Herrmann, C.M.; Holmes, D.E.; Hayward, C.D.; Fancy, S.G.

    2005-01-01

    We studied the breeding ecology of the critically endangered Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri), a poorly known Hawaiian thrush endemic to the island of Kauai. From 1996 through 1998, we monitored 96 active nests over the course of three breeding seasons. Mean clutch size was 2.0, and pairs produced an average of 1.5 fledglings/successful nest. Pairs renested after failure and some raised multiple broods. The mean annual reproductive effort was 2.1 nesting attempts/territory, and pairs produced a mean 1.1 fledglings/attempt. Large differences in nesting effort and productivity occurred among years, with mean number of fledglings/territory ranging from 0.4 to 4.9. Predation by owls (probably Short-eared Owls, Asia flammeus) and introduced rats (probably black rats, Rattus rattus) accounted for most nest failures. The presence of non-breeding floaters in the population and their largely unsuccessful attempts to gain territories in the study area suggest that the population is near carrying capacity. The high reproductive potential of the Puaiohi may help explain its persistence despite the species' historical rarity.

  2. Reproductive senescence in a cooperatively breeding mammal.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Stuart P; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2010-01-01

    1. Senescence (or 'ageing') is a widespread and important process in wild animal populations, but variation in ageing patterns within and between species is poorly understood. 2. In cooperatively breeding species, the costs of reproduction are shared between breeders and one or more helpers. The effects of ageing in breeders may therefore be moderated by the presence of helpers, but there have been very few studies of senescence patterns in natural populations of cooperative breeders. 3. Here, we use 13 years of data from a long-term study population of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta) to investigate age-related changes in several traits known to be key components of reproductive success in females of this species. 4. Four of the six traits studied exhibited significant declines with age, indicating senescence. Litter size, the number of litters produced per year and the number of pups that survived to emergence from the natal burrow per year all increased with female age up to a peak at c. 4 years, and declined steeply thereafter; the mean pup weight at emergence in a given litter declined steadily from age zero. 5. These results provide the first evidence of reproductive senescence in a wild population of a cooperatively breeding vertebrate. Breeding success declined with age despite the sharing of reproductive costs in this species, but further study is needed to investigate whether helping affects other aspects of senescence, including survival.

  3. The North American Breeding Bird Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bystrak, D.; Ralph, C. John; Scott, J. Michael

    1981-01-01

    A brief history of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and a discussion of the technique are presented. The approximately 2000 random roadside routes conducted yearly during the breeding season throughout North America produce an enormous bank of data on distribution and abundance of breeding birds with great potential use. Data on about one million total birds of 500 species per year are on computer tape to facilitate accessibility and are available to any serious investigator. The BBS includes the advantages of wide geographic coverage, sampling of most habitat types, standardization of data collection, and a relatively simple format. The Survey is limited by placement of roads (e.g., marshes and rugged mountainous areas are not well sampled), traffic noise interference in some cases and preference of some bird species for roadside habitats. These and other problems and biases of the BBS are discussed. The uniformity of the technique allows for detecting changes in populations and for creation of maps of relative abundance. Examples of each are presented.

  4. Detection of Breeding Blankets Using Antineutrinos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cogswell, Bernadette; Huber, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    The Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement between the United States and Russia makes arrangements for the disposal of 34 metric tons of excess weapon-grade plutonium. Under this agreement Russia plans to dispose of its excess stocks by processing the plutonium into fuel for fast breeder reactors. To meet the disposition requirements this fuel would be burned while the fast reactors are run as burners, i.e., without a natural uranium blanket that can be used to breed plutonium surrounding the core. This talk discusses the potential application of antineutrino monitoring to the verification of the presence or absence of a breeding blanket. It is found that a 36 kg antineutrino detector, exploiting coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering and made of silicon, could determine the presence of a breeding blanket at a liquid sodium cooled fast reactor at the 95% confidence level within 90 days. Such a detector would be a novel non-intrusive verification tool and could present a first application of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering to a real-world challenge.

  5. Reproductive senescence in a cooperatively breeding mammal.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Stuart P; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2010-01-01

    1. Senescence (or 'ageing') is a widespread and important process in wild animal populations, but variation in ageing patterns within and between species is poorly understood. 2. In cooperatively breeding species, the costs of reproduction are shared between breeders and one or more helpers. The effects of ageing in breeders may therefore be moderated by the presence of helpers, but there have been very few studies of senescence patterns in natural populations of cooperative breeders. 3. Here, we use 13 years of data from a long-term study population of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta) to investigate age-related changes in several traits known to be key components of reproductive success in females of this species. 4. Four of the six traits studied exhibited significant declines with age, indicating senescence. Litter size, the number of litters produced per year and the number of pups that survived to emergence from the natal burrow per year all increased with female age up to a peak at c. 4 years, and declined steeply thereafter; the mean pup weight at emergence in a given litter declined steadily from age zero. 5. These results provide the first evidence of reproductive senescence in a wild population of a cooperatively breeding vertebrate. Breeding success declined with age despite the sharing of reproductive costs in this species, but further study is needed to investigate whether helping affects other aspects of senescence, including survival. PMID:19758306

  6. Breeding quantum error-correcting codes

    SciTech Connect

    Dong Ying; Hu Dan; Yu Sixia

    2010-02-15

    The stabilizer code, one major family of quantum error-correcting codes (QECC), is specified by the joint eigenspace of a commuting set of Pauli observables. It turns out that noncommuting sets of Pauli observables can be used to construct more efficient QECCs, such as the entanglement-assisted QECCs, which are built directly from any linear classical codes whose detailed properties are needed to determine the parameters of the resulting quantum codes. Here we propose another family of QECCs, namely, the breeding QECCs, that also employ noncommuting sets of Pauli observables and can be built from any classical additive codes, either linear or nonlinear, with the advantage that their parameters can be read off directly from the corresponding classical codes. Besides, since nonlinear codes are generally more efficient than linear codes, our breeding codes have better parameters than those codes built from linear codes. The terminology is justified by the fact that our QECCs are related to the ordinary QECCs in exactly the same way that the breeding protocols are related to the hashing protocols in the entanglement purification.

  7. Domestication and Breeding of Tomatoes: What have We Gained and What Can We Gain in the Future?

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Yuling; Lindhout, Pim

    2007-01-01

    Background It has been shown that a large variation is present and exploitable from wild Solanum species but most of it is still untapped. Considering the thousands of Solanum accessions in different gene banks and probably even more that are still untouched in the Andes, it is a challenge to exploit the diversity of tomato. What have we gained from tomato domestication and breeding and what can we gain in the future? Scope This review summarizes progress on tomato domestication and breeding and current efforts in tomato genome research. Also, it points out potential challenges in exploiting tomato biodiversity and depicts future perspectives in tomato breeding with the emerging knowledge from tomato-omics. Conclusions From first domestication to modern breeding, the tomato has been continually subjected to human selection for a wide array of applications in both science and commerce. Current efforts in tomato breeding are focused on discovering and exploiting genes for the most important traits in tomato germplasm. In the future, breeders will design cultivars by a process named ‘breeding by design’ based on the combination of science and technologies from the genomic era as well as their practical skills. PMID:17717024

  8. The effects of dog breed development on genetic diversity and the relative influences of performance and conformation breeding.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, N; Liu, H; Theilen, G; Sacks, B

    2013-06-01

    Genetic diversity was compared among eight dog breeds selected primarily for conformation (Standard Poodle, Italian Greyhound and show English Setter), conformation and performance (Brittany), predominantly performance (German Shorthaired and Wirehaired Pointers) or solely performance (field English Setter and Red Setter). Modern village dogs, which better reflect ancestral genetic diversity, were used as the standard. Four to seven maternal and one to two Y haplotypes were found per breed, with one usually dominant. Diversity of maternal haplotypes was greatest in village dogs, intermediate in performance breeds and lowest in conformation breeds. Maternal haplotype sharing occurred across all breeds, while Y haplotypes were more breed specific. Almost all paternal haplotypes were identified among village dogs, with the exception of the dominant Y haplotype in Brittanys, which has not been identified heretofore. The highest heterozygosity based on 24 autosomal microsatellites was found in village dogs and the lowest in conformation (show) breeds. Principal coordinate analysis indicated that conformation-type breeds were distinct from breeds heavily used for performance, the latter clustering more closely with village dogs. The Brittany, a well-established dual show and field breed, was also genetically intermediate between the conformation and performance breeds. The number of DLA-DRB1 alleles varied from 3 to 10 per breed with extensive sharing. SNPs across the wider DLA region were more frequently homozygous in all pure breeds than in village dogs. Compared with their village dog relatives, all modern breed dogs exhibit reduced genetic diversity. Genetic diversity was even more reduced among breeds under selection for show/conformation.

  9. Colombian Creole horse breeds: Same origin but different diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jimenez, Ligia Mercedes; Mendez, Susy; Dunner, Susana; Cañón, Javier; Cortés, Óscar

    2012-01-01

    In order to understand the genetic ancestry and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity of current Colombian horse breeds we sequenced a 364-bp fragment of the mitocondrial DNA D-loop in 116 animals belonging to five Spanish horse breeds and the Colombian Paso Fino and Colombian Creole cattle horse breeds. Among Colombian horse breeds, haplogroup D had the highest frequency (53%), followed by haplogroups A (19%), C (8%) and F (6%). The higher frequency of haplogroup D in Colombian horse breeds supports the theory of an ancestral Iberian origin for these breeds. These results also indicate that different selective pressures among the Colombian breeds could explain the relatively higher genetic diversity found in the Colombian Creole cattle horse when compared with the Colombian Paso Fino. PMID:23271940

  10. The different breeding strategies of penguins: a review.

    PubMed

    Ancel, André; Beaulieu, Michaël; Gilbert, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    The 18 penguin species are exclusively and widely distributed in the Southern hemisphere, from the Equator to the Antarctic continent, and are thus submitted to various ecological constraints in their reproductive strategy. This results in a high variability in all aspects of the breeding biology of the different species. Although penguins appear primarily adapted for a marine existence, they remain dependent on land for breeding, rearing young, and moulting. Here we describe and compare the breeding cycle of all the penguin species, highlighting the characteristics of each species in terms of breeding range, population status, threats induced by environmental changes, duration of the different phases of the breeding cycle, mate fidelity, body mass, body height, egg mass and duration of egg formation. We also focus on the breeding cycle of the genus Aptenodytes, since it largely differs from the breeding cycle of most of the other penguin species.

  11. The role of the physician-scientist in our evolving society.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Michael R

    2011-10-01

    The physician-scientist represents the medical-scientific version of the "triple threat" athlete. Yet, in medicine as in sports, specialization and business are ever more in the forefront. As the field of medicine evolves, it is likely that the role of the physician, the scientist, and the physician-scientist will continue to change. Whether this is for the good or bad will only be known in hindsight.

  12. Spatial scale of local breeding habitat quality and adjustment of breeding decisions.

    PubMed

    Doligez, Blandine; Berthouly, Anne; Doligez, Damien; Tanner, Marion; Saladin, Verena; Bonfils, Danielle; Richner, Heinz

    2008-05-01

    Experimental studies provide evidence that, in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments, individuals track variation in breeding habitat quality to adjust breeding decisions to local conditions. However, most experiments consider environmental variation at one spatial scale only, while the ability to detect the influence of a factor depends on the scale of analysis. We show that different breeding decisions by adults are based on information about habitat quality at different spatial scales. We manipulated (increased or decreased) local breeding habitat quality through food availability and parasite prevalence at a small (territory) and a large (patch) scale simultaneously in a wild population of Great Tits (Parus major). Females laid earlier in high-quality large-scale patches, but laying date did not depend on small-scale territory quality. Conversely, offspring sex ratio was higher (i.e., biased toward males) in high-quality, small-scale territories but did not depend on large-scale patch quality. Clutch size and territory occupancy probability did not depend on our experimental manipulation of habitat quality, but territories located at the edge of patches were more likely to be occupied than central territories. These results suggest that integrating different decisions taken by breeders according to environmental variation at different spatial scales is required to understand patterns of breeding strategy adjustment.

  13. The evolving trend in spacecraft health analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, Russell L.

    1993-01-01

    The Space Flight Operations Center inaugurated the concept of a central data repository for spacecraft data and the distribution of computing power to the end users for that data's analysis at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Advanced Multimission Operations System is continuing the evolution of this concept as new technologies emerge. Constant improvements in data management tools, data visualization, and hardware lead to ever expanding ideas for improving the analysis of spacecraft health in an era of budget constrained mission operations systems. The foundation of this evolution, its history, and its current plans will be discussed.

  14. The evolving trend in spacecraft health analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkpatrick, Russell L.

    1993-03-01

    The Space Flight Operations Center inaugurated the concept of a central data repository for spacecraft data and the distribution of computing power to the end users for that data's analysis at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Advanced Multimission Operations System is continuing the evolution of this concept as new technologies emerge. Constant improvements in data management tools, data visualization, and hardware lead to ever expanding ideas for improving the analysis of spacecraft health in an era of budget constrained mission operations systems. The foundation of this evolution, its history, and its current plans will be discussed.

  15. Achieving Equity in an Evolving Healthcare System: Opportunities and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joni Strom; Walker, Rebekah J; Egede, Leonard E

    2016-01-01

    For decades, disparities in health have been well documented in the United States and regrettably, remain prevalent despite evidence and appeals for their elimination. Compared with the majority, racial and ethnic minorities continue to have poorer health status and health outcomes for most chronic conditions, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer and end-stage renal disease. Many factors, such as affordability, access and diversity in the healthcare system, influence care and outcomes, creating challenges that make the task of eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity daunting and elusive. Novel strategies are needed to bring about much needed change in the complex and evolving United States healthcare system. Although not exhaustive, opportunities such as (1) developing standardized race measurements across health systems, (2) implementing effective interventions, (3) improving workforce diversity, (4) using technological advances and (5) adopting practices such as personalized medicine may serve as appropriate starting points for moving toward health equity. Over the past several decades, diversity in the U.S. population has increased significantly and is expected to increase exponentially in the near future. As the population becomes more diverse, it is important to recognize the possibilities of new and emerging disparities. It is imperative that steps are taken to eliminate the current gap in care and prevent new disparities from developing. Therefore, we present challenges and offer recommendations for facilitating the process of eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity across diverse populations.

  16. Extracellular Vesicles: Evolving Factors in Stem Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Nawaz, Muhammad; Fatima, Farah; Vallabhaneni, Krishna C.; Penfornis, Patrice; Valadi, Hadi; Ekström, Karin; Kholia, Sharad; Whitt, Jason D.; Fernandes, Joseph D.; Pochampally, Radhika; Squire, Jeremy A.; Camussi, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Stem cells are proposed to continuously secrete trophic factors that potentially serve as mediators of autocrine and paracrine activities, associated with reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment, tissue regeneration, and repair. Hitherto, significant efforts have been made to understand the level of underlying paracrine activities influenced by stem cell secreted trophic factors, as little is known about these interactions. Recent findings, however, elucidate this role by reporting the effects of stem cell derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) that mimic the phenotypes of the cells from which they originate. Exchange of genetic information utilizing persistent bidirectional communication mediated by stem cell-EVs could regulate stemness, self-renewal, and differentiation in stem cells and their subpopulations. This review therefore discusses stem cell-EVs as evolving communication factors in stem cell biology, focusing on how they regulate cell fates by inducing persistent and prolonged genetic reprogramming of resident cells in a paracrine fashion. In addition, we address the role of stem cell-secreted vesicles in shaping the tumor microenvironment and immunomodulation and in their ability to stimulate endogenous repair processes during tissue damage. Collectively, these functions ensure an enormous potential for future therapies. PMID:26649044

  17. An evolving view of epigenetic complexity in the brain.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-09-26

    Recent scientific advances have revolutionized our understanding of classical epigenetic mechanisms and the broader landscape of molecular interactions and cellular functions that are inextricably linked to these processes. Our current view of epigenetics includes an increasing appreciation for the dynamic nature of DNA methylation, active mechanisms for DNA demethylation, differential functions of 5-methylcytosine and its oxidized derivatives, the intricate regulatory logic of histone post-translational modifications, the incorporation of histone variants into chromatin, nucleosome occupancy and dynamics, and direct links between cellular signalling pathways and the actions of chromatin 'reader', 'writer' and 'eraser' molecules. We also have an increasing awareness of the seemingly ubiquitous roles played by diverse classes of selectively expressed non-coding RNAs in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, post-translational and local and higher order chromatin modulatory processes. These perspectives are still evolving with novel insights continuing to emerge rapidly (e.g. those related to epigenetic regulation of mobile genetic elements, epigenetic mechanisms in mitochondria, roles in nuclear architecture and 'RNA epigenetics'). The precise functions of these epigenetic factors/phenomena are largely unknown. However, it is unequivocal that they serve as key mediators of brain complexity and flexibility, including neural development and aging, cellular differentiation, homeostasis, stress responses, and synaptic and neural network connectivity and plasticity.

  18. The Registry of Canadian Stroke Network : an evolving methodology.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jiming; Kapral, Moira K; Richards, Janice; Robertson, Annette; Stamplecoski, Melissa; Silver, Frank L

    2011-06-01

    Stroke registries can provide information on evidence-based practices and interventions, which are critical for us to understand how stroke care is delivered and how outcomes are achieved. The Registry of Canadian Stroke Network (RCSN) was initiated in 2001 and has evolved over the past decade. In the first two years, we found it extremely difficult to obtain informed consent from the patient or surrogate which led to selection biases in the registry. Subsequently (2003 onwards), under the new health privacy legislation in Ontario, Canada, the RCSN was granted special status as a "prescribed registry" which allowed us to collect data on all consecutive patients at the regional stroke centres without consent. The stroke data was encrypted and all personal contact information had been removed, therefore we could no longer conduct follow- up interviews. To obtain patient outcomes after discharge, we linked the non-consent-based registry database to population-based administrative databases to obtain information on patient mortality, readmissions, socioeconomic status, medication use and other clinical information of interest. In addition, the registry methodology was modified to include a periodic population-based audit on a sample of all stroke patients from over 150 acute hospitals across the province, in addition to continuous data collection at the 12 registry hospitals in the province. The changes in the data collection methodology developed by the RCSN can be applied to other provinces and countries. PMID:21739386

  19. The Evolving Diagnostic and Genetic Landscapes of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Ziats, Mark N; Rennert, Owen M

    2016-01-01

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome. PMID:27200076

  20. Achieving Equity in an Evolving Healthcare System: Opportunities and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joni Strom; Walker, Rebekah J; Egede, Leonard E

    2016-01-01

    For decades, disparities in health have been well documented in the United States and regrettably, remain prevalent despite evidence and appeals for their elimination. Compared with the majority, racial and ethnic minorities continue to have poorer health status and health outcomes for most chronic conditions, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer and end-stage renal disease. Many factors, such as affordability, access and diversity in the healthcare system, influence care and outcomes, creating challenges that make the task of eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity daunting and elusive. Novel strategies are needed to bring about much needed change in the complex and evolving United States healthcare system. Although not exhaustive, opportunities such as (1) developing standardized race measurements across health systems, (2) implementing effective interventions, (3) improving workforce diversity, (4) using technological advances and (5) adopting practices such as personalized medicine may serve as appropriate starting points for moving toward health equity. Over the past several decades, diversity in the U.S. population has increased significantly and is expected to increase exponentially in the near future. As the population becomes more diverse, it is important to recognize the possibilities of new and emerging disparities. It is imperative that steps are taken to eliminate the current gap in care and prevent new disparities from developing. Therefore, we present challenges and offer recommendations for facilitating the process of eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity across diverse populations. PMID:26802756

  1. Evolving microbes and re-emerging streptococcal disease.

    PubMed

    Krause, Richard M

    2002-12-01

    Microbes will evolve and the epidemics they cause will continue to occur in the future as they have in the past. Microbes emerge from the evolutionary stream as a result of genetic events and selective pressures that favor new over old. It is nature's way. Microbes and vectors swim in the evolutionary stream, and they swim much faster than humans. Bacteria reproduce every 30 minutes and, for them, a millennium is compressed into a fortnight. They are "fleet afoot," and the pace of research must keep up with them or they will overtake. Microbes were here on Earth 2 billion years before humans arrived, learning every trick of the trade for survival, and they are likely to be here 2 billion years after we depart. Current research on the rise and decline of epidemics is broadly based and includes evolutionary and population genetics of host-microbe relationships. Within this context, the 19th century pandemic of scarlet fever has been described. The possibility is raised that the GAS, which currently cause STSS, possess some of the virulence factors that caused pandemic scarlet fever. Furthermore, the GAS isolated during the recent outbreaks of ARF in certain locales in the United States have the virulence properties of the GAS frequently isolated in the first half of the 20th century. Finally, it is suggested that the strategy to confront emerging infectious diseases should be the study of infectious diseases from all points of view. They remain the greatest threats to our society.

  2. The Evolving Diagnostic and Genetic Landscapes of Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Ziats, Mark N.; Rennert, Owen M.

    2016-01-01

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome. PMID:27200076

  3. Increased morphological asymmetry, evolvability and plasticity in human brain evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2013-01-01

    The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter- and intraspecific differences in cerebral morphology in a sample of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging scans of chimpanzees and humans, with special emphasis on the study of asymmetric variation. Our study reveals that chimpanzee–human differences in cerebral morphology are mainly symmetric; by contrast, there is continuity in asymmetric variation between species, with humans showing an increased range of variation. Moreover, asymmetric variation does not appear to be the result of allometric scaling at intraspecific levels, whereas symmetric changes exhibit very slight allometric effects within each species. Our results emphasize two key properties of brain evolution in the hominine clade: first, evolution of chimpanzee and human brains (and probably their last common ancestor and related species) is not strongly morphologically constrained, thus making their brains highly evolvable and responsive to selective pressures; second, chimpanzee and, especially, human brains show high levels of fluctuating asymmetry indicative of pronounced developmental plasticity. We infer that these two characteristics can have a role in human cognitive evolution. PMID:23615289

  4. FLOPROS: an evolving global database of flood protection standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scussolini, Paolo; Aerts, Jeroen C. J. H.; Jongman, Brenden; Bouwer, Laurens M.; Winsemius, Hessel C.; de Moel, Hans; Ward, Philip J.

    2016-05-01

    With projected changes in climate, population and socioeconomic activity located in flood-prone areas, the global assessment of flood risk is essential to inform climate change policy and disaster risk management. Whilst global flood risk models exist for this purpose, the accuracy of their results is greatly limited by the lack of information on the current standard of protection to floods, with studies either neglecting this aspect or resorting to crude assumptions. Here we present a first global database of FLOod PROtection Standards, FLOPROS, which comprises information in the form of the flood return period associated with protection measures, at different spatial scales. FLOPROS comprises three layers of information, and combines them into one consistent database. The design layer contains empirical information about the actual standard of existing protection already in place; the policy layer contains information on protection standards from policy regulations; and the model layer uses a validated modelling approach to calculate protection standards. The policy layer and the model layer can be considered adequate proxies for actual protection standards included in the design layer, and serve to increase the spatial coverage of the database. Based on this first version of FLOPROS, we suggest a number of strategies to further extend and increase the resolution of the database. Moreover, as the database is intended to be continually updated, while flood protection standards are changing with new interventions, FLOPROS requires input from the flood risk community. We therefore invite researchers and practitioners to contribute information to this evolving database by corresponding to the authors.

  5. Evolving values in ethics and global health research.

    PubMed

    Ijsselmuiden, C B; Kass, N E; Sewankambo, K N; Lavery, J V

    2010-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, the ethics of international health research have shifted from addressing narrow issues such as cultural differences in informed consent practices towards a greater emphasis on development and social justice. We anticipate that the next 'era' in international research ethics will involve an intensification of this focus on the role of research in achieving global justice. Three values, in particular, will shape how ethics considerations should evolve: solidarity; respect for Southern innovation; and commitment to action. We expect continuing debate on whether researchers and research sponsors should recognise more than a minimal set of obligations for the care and benefit of research participants and their communities. As the debate about the role of research in development intensifies, we expect to see new and more elaborate mechanisms for financing on-going access to beneficial interventions, ancillary care and other research-related benefits, as well as a greater involvement in research funding by developing country governments and private foundations. Ethics review and oversight need to reflect on these new values and on ways of operationalising them, or risk becoming marginalised in the research process.

  6. The Evolving Diagnostic and Genetic Landscapes of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Ziats, Mark N; Rennert, Owen M

    2016-01-01

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome.

  7. Cancer and aging. An evolving panorama.

    PubMed

    Balducci, L; Extermann, M

    2000-02-01

    This article illustrates how the nosology of cancer evolves with the patient's age. If the current trends are maintained, 70% of all neoplasms will occur in persons aged 65 years and over by the year 2020, leading to increased cancer-related morbidity among older persons. Cancer control in the older person involves chemoprevention, early diagnosis, and timely and effective treatment that entails both antineoplastic therapy and symptom management. These interventions must be individualized based on a multidimensional assessment that can predict life expectancy and treatment complications and that may evaluate the quality of life of the older person. This article suggests a number of interventions that may improve cancer control in the aged. Public education is needed to illustrate the benefits of health maintenance and early detection of cancer even among older individuals, to create realistic expectations, and to heighten awareness of early symptoms and signs of cancer. Professional education is needed to train students and practitioners in the evaluation and management of the older person. Of special interest is the current initiative of the Hartford Foundation offering combined fellowships in oncology and geriatrics and incorporating principles of geriatric medicine in medical specialty training. Prudent pharmacologic principles must be followed in managing older persons with cytotoxic chemotherapy. These principles include adjusting the dose according to the patient's renal function, using epoietin to maintain hemoglobin levels of 12 g/dL or more, and using hemopoietic growth factors in persons aged 70 years and older receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy of moderate toxicity (e.g., CHOP). To assure uniformity of data, a cooperative oncology group should formulate a geriatric package outlining a common plan for evaluating function and comorbidity. This article also suggests several important areas of research items: Molecular interactions of age and cancer Host

  8. Observational studies of highly evolved cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uthas, Helena

    2011-05-01

    According to standard evolutionary theory for cataclysmic variables (CVs), angular momentum loss drives CVs to initially evolve from longer to shorter orbital periods until a minimum period is reached (approx 80 min). At roughly this stage, the donors becomes degenerate, expand in size, and the systems move towards longer Porb. Theory predicts that 70% of all CVs should have passed their minimum period and have sub-stellar donors, but until recently, no such systems were known. I present one CV showing evidence of harbouring a sub-dwarf donor, SDSS J1507+52. Due to the system's unusually short Porb of about 65 min, and very high space velocity, two origins for SDSS J1507+52 have been proposed; either the system was formed from a young WD/brown-dwarf binary, or the system is a halo CV. In order to distinguish between these two theories, I present UV spectroscopy and find a metallicity consistent with halo origin. Systems close to Pmin are expected to have low accretion rates. Some of these CVs show absorption in their spectra, implying that the underlying WD is exposed. This yields a rare opportunity to study the WD in a CV. I introduce two new systems showing WD signatures in their light curves and spectra, SDSS J1457+51 and BW Scl. Despite the fact that CVs close to Pmin should be faint, we find systems that are much too bright for their Porb. Such a system is T Pyx - a recurrent nova with an unusually high accretion rate and a photometrically determined Porb < 2 hr. T Pyx is about 2 times brighter than any other CV at its period. However, to confirm its evolutionary status, a more reliable period determination is needed. Here, I present a spectroscopic study, confirming T Pyx as a short-period CV. In this thesis, I discuss what implications these systems may have on the current understanding of CV evolution, and the importance of studying individual systems in general.

  9. Natural breeding places of phlebotomine sandflies.

    PubMed

    Feliciangeli, M D

    2004-03-01

    Methods of finding larvae and pupae of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) are described and the known types of breeding sites used by sandflies are listed. Three ways of detecting sandfly breeding places are the use of emergence traps placed over potential sources to catch newly emerged adult sandflies; flotation of larvae and pupae from soil, etc., and desiccation of media to drive out the larvae. Even so, remarkably little information is available on the ecology of the developmental stages of sandflies, despite their importance as vectors of Leishmania, Bartonella and phleboviruses affecting humans and other vertebrates in warmers parts of the world. Regarding the proven or suspected vectors of leishmaniases, information on breeding sites is available for only 15 out of 29 species of sandflies involved in the Old World and 12 out of 44 species of sandflies involved in the Americas, representing approximately 3% of the known species of Phlebotominae. Ecotopes occupied by immature phlebotomines are usually organically rich moist soils, such as the rain forest floor (Lutzomyia intermedia, Lu. umbratilis, Lu. whitmani in the Amazon; Lu. gomezi, Lu. panamensis, Lu. trapidoi in Panama), or contaminated soil of animal shelters (Lu. longipalpis s.l. in South America, Phlebotomus argentipes in India; P. chinensis in China; P. ariasi, P. perfiliewi, P. perniciosus in Europe). Developmental stages of some species (P. langeroni and P. martini in Africa; P. papatasi in Eurasia; Lu. longipalpis s.l. in South America), have been found in a wide range of ecotopes, and many species of sandflies employ rodent burrows as breeding sites, although the importance of this niche is unclear. Larvae of some phlebotomines have been found in what appear to be specialized niches such as Lu. ovallesi on buttress roots of trees in Panama; P. celiae in termite hills in Kenya; P. longipes and P. pedifer in caves and among rocks in East Africa. Old World species found as immatures in

  10. The Evolvement of Automobile Steering System Based on TRIZ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xinjun; Zhang, Shuang

    Products and techniques pass through a process of birth, growth, maturity, death and quit the stage like biological evolution process. The developments of products and techniques conform to some evolvement rules. If people know and hold these rules, they can design new kind of products and forecast the develop trends of the products. Thereby, enterprises can grasp the future technique directions of products, and make product and technique innovation. Below, based on TRIZ theory, the mechanism evolvement, the function evolvement and the appearance evolvement of automobile steering system had been analyzed and put forward some new ideas about future automobile steering system.

  11. Breeding pond selection and movement patterns by eastern spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus holbrookii) in relation to weather and edaphic conditions.

    SciTech Connect

    Cathryn H. Greenberg; George W. Tanner

    2004-08-31

    Cathryn H. Greenberg and George W. Tanner. 2004. Breeding pond selection and movement patterns by eastern spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus holbrookii) in relation to weather and edaphic conditions. J. Herp. 38(4):569-577. Abstract: Eastern Spadefoot Toads (Scaphiopus holbrookii) require fish-free, isolated, ephemeral ponds for breeding but otherwise inhabit the surrounding uplands, commonly xeric longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) wiregrass (Aristida beyrichiana). Hence both pond and upland conditions can potentially affect their breeding biology, and population persistence. Hardwood invasion due to fire suppression in sandhills could alter upland and pond suitability by higher hardwood density and increased transpiration. In this paper we explore breeding and neonatal emigration movements in relation to weather, hydrological conditions of ponds, and surrounding upland matrices. We use 9 years of data from continuous monitoring with drift fences and pitfall traps at 8 ephemeral ponds in 2 upland matrices: regularly-burned, savanna-like sandhills (n = 4), and hardwood-invaded sandhills (n = 4). Neither adult nor neonate captures differed between ponds within the 2 upland matrices, suggesting that they are tolerant of upland heterogeneity created by fire frequency. Explosive breeding occurred during 9 periods and in all seasons; adults were captured rarely otherwise. At a landscape-level rainfall, maximum change in barometric pressure, and an interaction between those 2 variables were significant predictors of explosive breeding. At a pond-level, rainfall, change in pond depth during the month prior to breeding, and days since a pond was last dry were significant predictors of adult captures. Transformation date, rather than weather, was associated with neonatal emigrations, which usually were complete within a week. Movement by first-captured adults and neonates was directional, but adult emigrations were apparently not always toward their origin. Our results suggest that

  12. Evaluation of systematic breeding programs for lactating dairy cows: a review.

    PubMed

    Nebel, R L; Jobst, S M

    1998-04-01

    Observing cows in estrus and inseminating them at the optimum time are necessary steps for effective reproductive management of a dairy herd. However, larger herd sizes can lead to reproductive inefficiency and decreased profits on dairy farms. Synchronization of estrus behavior through pharmacological control has been used to improve reproductive efficiency. Methods of synchronizing estrus were originally devised to decrease the time spent detecting estrus; however, systematic breeding programs are now being used for convenience and efficiency in reproductive management. Systematic breeding programs provide an organized approach for administering artificial insemination (AI) at first service. Moreover, reproductive management is based on a methodical approach for the entire herd rather than for the individual cow. Targeted Breeding (Pharmacia-Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI) consists of a series of three PGF2 alpha injections at 14-d intervals. For convenience, injections are usually given one day a week to all cows that surpass the specified target date. The PGF2 alpha injections may be continued until detection of estrus and AI or fixed-time AI. Ovsynch consists of a GnRH injection at a random stage of the estrous cycle, followed by PGF2 alpha 7 d later, a second GnRH injection 36 to 48 h after PGF2 alpha, and timed AI. Research has shown that both Ovsynch and Targeted Breeding can improve reproductive performance over that of traditional programs. PMID:9594406

  13. The breeding biology of Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in Xishuangbanna, southwest China

    PubMed Central

    LI, Huan; ZHANG, Ming-Xia; YANG, Xiao-Jun; CUI, Liang-Wei; QUAN, Rui-Chang

    2015-01-01

    To fill the gap in breeding biology information about the Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), in 2013, we studied the breeding biology of this species in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. The breeding began from February and continued until early August. The breeding strategy of P. jocosus was more flexible and their nests were only built in cultivated landscapes, whereas, no nest building in native tropical rain forest was found. Small open cup nests were built on 50 different plant species, and at heights ranging from 2.1±0.6 m above the ground (n=102). The mean clutch size was 2.53±0.51 eggs (n=40) and the mean egg mass was 2.81±0.25 g (n=60). The average incubation period was 11.1±0.5 days (n=14), and the average nestling period was 11.0±0.8 days (n=31). The overall nest success was 34.22%.The hatching and fledging showed either asynchrony or synchrony. Invertebrate food decreased with nestling age, whereas, plant food increased with nestling age. Moreover, distinct parental roles of the parents in nestling period were found. Compared with other passerine species, P. jocosus spent less time in incubating (58%). The clutch size, incubation and nestling period of the P. jocosus in southwest China were different from those of the P. jocosus in India. PMID:26228474

  14. Tropical winter habitat limits reproductive success on the temperate breeding grounds in a migratory bird.

    PubMed Central

    Norris, D. Ryan; Marra, Peter P.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Sherry, Thomas W.; Ratcliffe, Laurene M.

    2004-01-01

    Identifying the factors that control population dynamics in migratory animals has been constrained by our inability to track individuals throughout the annual cycle. Using stable carbon isotopes, we show that the reproductive success of a long-distance migratory bird is influenced by the quality of habitat located thousands of kilometres away on tropical wintering grounds. For male American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), winter habitat quality influenced arrival date on the breeding grounds, which in turn affected key variables associated with reproduction, including the number of young fledged. Based on a winter-habitat model, females occupying high-quality winter habitat were predicted to produce more than two additional young and to fledge offspring up to a month earlier compared with females wintering in poor-quality habitat. Differences of this magnitude are highly important considering redstarts are single brooded, lay clutches of only three to five eggs and spend only two-and-a-half months on the breeding grounds. Results from this study indicate the importance of understanding how periods of the annual cycle interact for migratory animals. Continued loss of tropical wintering habitat could have negative effects on migratory populations in the following breeding season, minimizing density-dependent effects on the breeding grounds and leading to further population declines. If conservation efforts are to be successful, strategies must incorporate measures to protect all the habitats used during the entire annual cycle of migratory animals. PMID:15002772

  15. Gametic embryogenesis and haploid technology as valuable support to plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Germanà, Maria Antonietta

    2011-05-01

    Plant breeding is focused on continuously increasing crop production to meet the needs of an ever-growing world population, improving food quality to ensure a long and healthy life and address the problems of global warming and environment pollution, together with the challenges of developing novel sources of biofuels. The breeders' search for novel genetic combinations, with which to select plants with improved traits to satisfy both farmers and consumers, is endless. About half of the dramatic increase in crop yield obtained in the second half of the last century has been achieved thanks to the results of genetic improvement, while the residual advance has been due to the enhanced management techniques (pest and disease control, fertilization, and irrigation). Biotechnologies provide powerful tools for plant breeding, and among these ones, tissue culture, particularly haploid and doubled haploid technology, can effectively help to select superior plants. In fact, haploids (Hs), which are plants with gametophytic chromosome number, and doubled haploids (DHs), which are haploids that have undergone chromosome duplication, represent a particularly attractive biotechnological method to accelerate plant breeding. Currently, haploid technology, making possible through gametic embryogenesis the single-step development of complete homozygous lines from heterozygous parents, has already had a huge impact on agricultural systems of many agronomically important crops, representing an integral part in their improvement programmes. The aim of this review was to provide some background, recent advances, and future prospective on the employment of haploid technology through gametic embryogenesis as a powerful tool to support plant breeding.

  16. The breeding biology of Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in Xishuangbanna, southwest China.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Zhang, Ming-Xia; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Cui, Liang-Wei; Quan, Rui-Chang

    2015-07-18

    To fill the gap in breeding biology information about the Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), in 2013, we studied the breeding biology of this species in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. The breeding began from February and continued until early August. The breeding strategy of P. jocosus was more flexible and their nests were only built in cultivated landscapes, whereas, no nest building in native tropical rain forest was found. Small open cup nests were built on 50 different plant species, and at heights ranging from 2.1±0.6 m above the ground (n=102). The mean clutch size was 2.53±0.51 eggs (n=40) and the mean egg mass was 2.81±0.25 g (n=60). The average incubation period was 11.1±0.5 days (n=14), and the average nestling period was 11.0±0.8 days (n=31). The overall nest success was 34.22%.The hatching and fledging showed either asynchrony or synchrony. Invertebrate food decreased with nestling age, whereas, plant food increased with nestling age. Moreover, distinct parental roles of the parents in nestling period were found. Compared with other passerine species, P. jocosus spent less time in incubating (58%). The clutch size, incubation and nestling period of the P. jocosus in southwest China were different from those of the P. jocosus in India. PMID:26228474

  17. The breeding biology of Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in Xishuangbanna, southwest China.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Zhang, Ming-Xia; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Cui, Liang-Wei; Quan, Rui-Chang

    2015-07-18

    To fill the gap in breeding biology information about the Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), in 2013, we studied the breeding biology of this species in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. The breeding began from February and continued until early August. The breeding strategy of P. jocosus was more flexible and their nests were only built in cultivated landscapes, whereas, no nest building in native tropical rain forest was found. Small open cup nests were built on 50 different plant species, and at heights ranging from 2.1±0.6 m above the ground (n=102). The mean clutch size was 2.53±0.51 eggs (n=40) and the mean egg mass was 2.81±0.25 g (n=60). The average incubation period was 11.1±0.5 days (n=14), and the average nestling period was 11.0±0.8 days (n=31). The overall nest success was 34.22%.The hatching and fledging showed either asynchrony or synchrony. Invertebrate food decreased with nestling age, whereas, plant food increased with nestling age. Moreover, distinct parental roles of the parents in nestling period were found. Compared with other passerine species, P. jocosus spent less time in incubating (58%). The clutch size, incubation and nestling period of the P. jocosus in southwest China were different from those of the P. jocosus in India.

  18. Managing LCAC in the evolving acquisition environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenefick, R. W.

    The major acquisition management steps of the U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) program, beginning in 1969 with the Amphibious Assault Landing Craft (AALC) program, and continuing through the present second source selection, are described. Testing of the AALC JEFF(A) and JEFF(B) successfully demonstrated the ability to carry troops and necessary combat equipment across the beach for unloading on dry land out of the surf zone. Based on the AALC technology, the LCAC program was begun, in adherence with OMB circular A-109, with specifications including a 23.5 craft height on cushion, and an on-cushion length of 88 feet. Successful testing of the LCAC 001 in 1984 and 1985 is reported.

  19. Goat farming systems in Martinique: management and breeding strategies.

    PubMed

    Alexandre, G; Leimbacher, F; Maurice, O; Domarin, D; Naves, M; Mandonnet, N

    2009-04-01

    To be successful, initiatives to improve farmer's goat production should directly address the needs and objectives of the keepers while promoting rational use of local genetic resources. A survey was carried out to implement a genetic policy governing meat goat farming in Martinique (11,400 heads and 33,400 ha arable land). The questionnaire comprised a total of 27 items with 306 modalities, and included questions on farm structure, crop and animal productions, management of feeding, reproduction and health control. The sample consisted of 33 farmers with 644 ha and 2,680 goats (1,286 does and 52 bucks), 97% of does in the studied sample were crossbred, 56% of bucks were" imported" breeds (Boer or Anglo-Nubian). The number of goats per farm varied from 16 to 582. The feeding system was predominantly grazing, according to a rotation (55% of cases) or continuous grazing system (42%). On 62% of farms, the males remained with the females permanently, also 83% of farmers did not resort to methods of controlled-mating. The first criteria used for choosing animals (80 to 90% of answers) of both sex, were development and conformation. Assuming that adaptive together with productive traits are important in tropical zones, it is advisable to better define the maternal lineage of the local livestock (presently very sparse records), to improve reproduction management and culling strategies (poor and inadequate management practices do not support any genetic improvement programme), and to guide the farmers in their decisions by employing concerted interprofessional actions (choice of meat breed, market studies).

  20. Clark's Nutcracker Breeding Season Space Use and Foraging Behavior.

    PubMed

    Schaming, Taza D

    2016-01-01

    Considering the entire life history of a species is fundamental to developing effective conservation strategies. Decreasing populations of five-needle white pines may be leading to the decline of Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana). These birds are important seed dispersers for at least ten conifer species in the western U.S., including whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), an obligate mutualist of Clark's nutcrackers. For effective conservation of both Clark's nutcrackers and whitebark pine, it is essential to ensure stability of Clark's nutcracker populations. My objectives were to examine Clark's nutcracker breeding season home range size, territoriality, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region where whitebark pine is declining. I radio-tracked Clark's nutcrackers in 2011, a population-wide nonbreeding year following a low whitebark pine cone crop, and 2012, a breeding year following a high cone crop. Results suggest Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) communities are important habitat for Clark's nutcrackers because they selected it for home ranges. In contrast, they did not select whitebark pine habitat. However, Clark's nutcrackers did adjust their use of whitebark pine habitat between years, suggesting that, in some springs, whitebark pine habitat may be used more than previously expected. Newly extracted Douglas-fir seeds were an important food source both years. On the other hand, cached seeds made up a relatively lower proportion of the diet in 2011, suggesting cached seeds are not a reliable spring food source. Land managers focus on restoring whitebark pine habitat with the assumption that Clark's nutcrackers will be available to continue seed dispersal. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Clark's nutcracker populations may be more likely to be retained year-round when whitebark pine restoration efforts are located adjacent to Douglas-fir habitat. By extrapolation, whitebark pine restoration

  1. Use of microsatellite markers to assign goats to their breeds.

    PubMed

    Aljumaah, R S; Alobre, M M; Al-Atiyat, R M

    2015-08-07

    We investigated the potential of 17 microsatellite markers for assigning Saudi goat individuals to their breeds. Three local breeds, Bishi, Jabali, and Tohami were genotyped using these markers, and Somali goats were used as a reference breed. The majority of alleles were shared between the breeds, except for some that were specific to each breed. The Garza-Williamson index was lowest in the Bishi breed, indicating that a recent bottleneck event occurred. The overall results assigned the goat individuals (based on their genotypes) to the same breeds from which they were sampled, except in a few cases. The individuals' genotypes were sufficient to provide a clear distinction between the Somali goat breed and the others. In three factorial dimensions, the results of a correspondence analysis indicated that the total variation for the first and second factors was 48.85 and 31.43%, respectively. Consequently, Jabali, Bishi, and Tohami goats were in separate groups. The Jabali goat was closely related to the Bishi goat. Somali goats were distinguished from each other and from individuals of the other three goat breeds. The markers were successful in assigning individual goats to their breeds, based on the likelihood of a given individual's genotype.

  2. Admixture and local breed marginalization threaten Algerian sheep diversity.

    PubMed

    Gaouar, Samir Bachir Souheil; Da Silva, Anne; Ciani, Elena; Kdidi, Samia; Aouissat, Miloud; Dhimi, Laziz; Lafri, Mohamed; Maftah, Abderrahman; Mehtar, Nadhira

    2015-01-01

    Due to its geo-climatic conditions, Algeria represents a biodiversity hotspot, with sheep breeds well adapted to a patchwork of extremely heterogeneous harsh habitats. The importance of this peculiar genetic reservoir increases as climate change drives the demand for new adaptations. However, the expansion of a single breed (Ouled-Djellal) which occurred in the last decades has generated a critical situation for the other breeds; some of them are being subjected to uncontrolled cross-breeding with the favored breed and/or to marginalization (effective size contraction). This study investigated genetic diversity within and among six of the nine Algerian breeds, by use of 30 microsatellite markers. Our results showed that, in spite of the census contraction experienced by most of the considered breeds, genetic diversity is still substantial (average gene diversity ranging 0.68 to 0.76) and inbreeding was not identified as a problem. However, two breeds (Rembi and Taâdmit) appeared to have lost most of their genetic originality because of intensive cross-breeding with Ouled-Djellal. Based on the above evidence, we suggest Hamra, Sidaoun, and D'man as breeds deserving the highest priority for conservation in Algeria.

  3. Admixture and Local Breed Marginalization Threaten Algerian Sheep Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ciani, Elena; Kdidi, Samia; Aouissat, Miloud; Dhimi, Laziz; Lafri, Mohamed; Maftah, Abderrahman; Mehtar, Nadhira

    2015-01-01

    Due to its geo-climatic conditions, Algeria represents a biodiversity hotspot, with sheep breeds well adapted to a patchwork of extremely heterogeneous harsh habitats. The importance of this peculiar genetic reservoir increases as climate change drives the demand for new adaptations. However, the expansion of a single breed (Ouled-Djellal) which occurred in the last decades has generated a critical situation for the other breeds; some of them are being subjected to uncontrolled cross-breeding with the favored breed and/or to marginalization (effective size contraction). This study investigated genetic diversity within and among six of the nine Algerian breeds, by use of 30 microsatellite markers. Our results showed that, in spite of the census contraction experienced by most of the considered breeds, genetic diversity is still substantial (average gene diversity ranging 0.68 to 0.76) and inbreeding was not identified as a problem. However, two breeds (Rembi and Taâdmit) appeared to have lost most of their genetic originality because of intensive cross-breeding with Ouled-Djellal. Based on the above evidence, we suggest Hamra, Sidaoun, and D’man as breeds deserving the highest priority for conservation in Algeria. PMID:25875832

  4. Animals Used in Research and Education, 1966-2016: Evolving Attitudes, Policies, and Relationships.

    PubMed

    Lairmore, Michael D; Ilkiw, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Since the inception of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the use of animals in research and education has been a central element of the programs of member institutions. As veterinary education and research programs have evolved over the past 50 years, so too have societal views and regulatory policies. AAVMC member institutions have continually responded to these events by exchanging best practices in training their students in the framework of comparative medicine and the needs of society. Animals provide students and faculty with the tools to learn the fundamental knowledge and skills of veterinary medicine and scientific discovery. The study of animal models has contributed extensively to medicine, veterinary medicine, and basic sciences as these disciplines seek to understand life processes. Changing societal views over the past 50 years have provided active examination and continued refinement of the use of animals in veterinary medical education and research. The future use of animals to educate and train veterinarians will likely continue to evolve as technological advances are applied to experimental design and educational systems. Natural animal models of both human and animal health will undoubtedly continue to serve a significant role in the education of veterinarians and in the development of new treatments of animal and human disease. As it looks to the future, the AAVMC as an organization will need to continue to support and promote best practices in the humane care and appropriate use of animals in both education and research.

  5. Animals Used in Research and Education, 1966-2016: Evolving Attitudes, Policies, and Relationships.

    PubMed

    Lairmore, Michael D; Ilkiw, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Since the inception of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the use of animals in research and education has been a central element of the programs of member institutions. As veterinary education and research programs have evolved over the past 50 years, so too have societal views and regulatory policies. AAVMC member institutions have continually responded to these events by exchanging best practices in training their students in the framework of comparative medicine and the needs of society. Animals provide students and faculty with the tools to learn the fundamental knowledge and skills of veterinary medicine and scientific discovery. The study of animal models has contributed extensively to medicine, veterinary medicine, and basic sciences as these disciplines seek to understand life processes. Changing societal views over the past 50 years have provided active examination and continued refinement of the use of animals in veterinary medical education and research. The future use of animals to educate and train veterinarians will likely continue to evolve as technological advances are applied to experimental design and educational systems. Natural animal models of both human and animal health will undoubtedly continue to serve a significant role in the education of veterinarians and in the development of new treatments of animal and human disease. As it looks to the future, the AAVMC as an organization will need to continue to support and promote best practices in the humane care and appropriate use of animals in both education and research. PMID:26673210

  6. Health-Literate Youth: Evolving Challenges for Health Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fetro, Joyce V.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents the author's AAHE Scholar presentation at the 2010 AAHE annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. In her discussion, the author addresses what she sees to be some evolving challenges for health educators working with youth as well as some possible strategies for addressing them. These evolving challenges are: (1) understanding…

  7. Adaptation of Escherichia coli to glucose promotes evolvability in lactose.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Kelly N; Castillo, Gerardo; Wünsche, Andrea; Cooper, Tim F

    2016-02-01

    The selective history of a population can influence its subsequent evolution, an effect known as historical contingency. We previously observed that five of six replicate populations that were evolved in a glucose-limited environment for 2000 generations, then switched to lactose for 1000 generations, had higher fitness increases in lactose than populations started directly from the ancestor. To test if selection in glucose systematically increased lactose evolvability, we started 12 replay populations--six from a population subsample and six from a single randomly selected clone--from each of the six glucose-evolved founder populations. These replay populations and 18 ancestral populations were evolved for 1000 generations in a lactose-limited environment. We found that replay populations were initially slightly less fit in lactose than the ancestor, but were more evolvable, in that they increased in fitness at a faster rate and to higher levels. This result indicates that evolution in the glucose environment resulted in genetic changes that increased the potential of genotypes to adapt to lactose. Genome sequencing identified four genes--iclR, nadR, spoT, and rbs--that were mutated in most glucose-evolved clones and are candidates for mediating increased evolvability. Our results demonstrate that short-term selective costs during selection in one environment can lead to changes in evolvability that confer longer term benefits. PMID:26748670

  8. Loops and autonomy promote evolvability of ecosystem networks.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jianxi

    2014-01-01

    The structure of ecological networks, in particular food webs, determines their ability to evolve further, i.e. evolvability. The knowledge about how food web evolvability is determined by the structures of diverse ecological networks can guide human interventions purposefully to either promote or limit evolvability of ecosystems. However, the focus of prior food web studies was on stability and robustness; little is known regarding the impact of ecological network structures on their evolvability. To correlate ecosystem structure and evolvability, we adopt the NK model originally from evolutionary biology to generate and assess the ruggedness of fitness landscapes of a wide spectrum of model food webs with gradual variation in the amount of feeding loops and link density. The variation in network structures is controlled by linkage rewiring. Our results show that more feeding loops and lower trophic link density, i.e. higher autonomy of species, of food webs increase the potential for the ecosystem to generate heritable variations with improved fitness. Our findings allow the prediction of the evolvability of actual food webs according to their network structures, and provide guidance to enhancing or controlling the evolvability of specific ecosystems.

  9. Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding of Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Foolad, Majid R.

    2007-01-01

    The cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, is the second most consumed vegetable worldwide and a well-studied crop species in terms of genetics, genomics, and breeding. It is one of the earliest crop plants for which a genetic linkage map was constructed, and currently there are several molecular maps based on crosses between the cultivated and various wild species of tomato. The high-density molecular map, developed based on an L. esculentum × L. pennellii cross, includes more than 2200 markers with an average marker distance of less than 1 cM and an average of 750 kbp per cM. Different types of molecular markers such as RFLPs, AFLPs, SSRs, CAPS, RGAs, ESTs, and COSs have been developed and mapped onto the 12 tomato chromosomes. Markers have been used extensively for identification and mapping of genes and QTLs for many biologically and agriculturally important traits and occasionally for germplasm screening, fingerprinting, and marker-assisted breeding. The utility of MAS in tomato breeding has been restricted largely due to limited marker polymorphism within the cultivated species and economical reasons. Also, when used, MAS has been employed mainly for improving simply-inherited traits and not much for improving complex traits. The latter has been due to unavailability of reliable PCR-based markers and problems with linkage drag. Efforts are being made to develop high-throughput markers with greater resolution, including SNPs. The expanding tomato EST database, which currently includes ∼214 000 sequences, the new microarray DNA chips, and the ongoing sequencing project are expected to aid development of more practical markers. Several BAC libraries have been developed that facilitate map-based cloning of genes and QTLs. Sequencing of the euchromatic portions of the tomato genome is paving the way for comparative and functional analysis of important genes and QTLs. PMID:18364989

  10. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yilun

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices. PMID:25822506

  11. Gene Essentiality Is a Quantitative Property Linked to Cellular Evolvability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Gaowen; Yong, Mei Yun Jacy; Yurieva, Marina; Srinivasan, Kandhadayar Gopalan; Liu, Jaron; Lim, John Soon Yew; Poidinger, Michael; Wright, Graham Daniel; Zolezzi, Francesca; Choi, Hyungwon; Pavelka, Norman; Rancati, Giulia

    2015-12-01

    Gene essentiality is typically determined by assessing the viability of the corresponding mutant cells, but this definition fails to account for the ability of cells to adaptively evolve to genetic perturbations. Here, we performed a stringent screen to assess the degree to which Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells can survive the deletion of ~1,000 individual "essential" genes and found that ~9% of these genetic perturbations could in fact be overcome by adaptive evolution. Our analyses uncovered a genome-wide gradient of gene essentiality, with certain essential cellular functions being more "evolvable" than others. Ploidy changes were prevalent among the evolved mutant strains, and aneuploidy of a specific chromosome was adaptive for a class of evolvable nucleoporin mutants. These data justify a quantitative redefinition of gene essentiality that incorporates both viability and evolvability of the corresponding mutant cells and will enable selection of therapeutic targets associated with lower risk of emergence of drug resistance. PMID:26627736

  12. Gene Essentiality Is a Quantitative Property Linked to Cellular Evolvability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Gaowen; Yong, Mei Yun Jacy; Yurieva, Marina; Srinivasan, Kandhadayar Gopalan; Liu, Jaron; Lim, John Soon Yew; Poidinger, Michael; Wright, Graham Daniel; Zolezzi, Francesca; Choi, Hyungwon; Pavelka, Norman; Rancati, Giulia

    2015-12-01

    Gene essentiality is typically determined by assessing the viability of the corresponding mutant cells, but this definition fails to account for the ability of cells to adaptively evolve to genetic perturbations. Here, we performed a stringent screen to assess the degree to which Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells can survive the deletion of ~1,000 individual "essential" genes and found that ~9% of these genetic perturbations could in fact be overcome by adaptive evolution. Our analyses uncovered a genome-wide gradient of gene essentiality, with certain essential cellular functions being more "evolvable" than others. Ploidy changes were prevalent among the evolved mutant strains, and aneuploidy of a specific chromosome was adaptive for a class of evolvable nucleoporin mutants. These data justify a quantitative redefinition of gene essentiality that incorporates both viability and evolvability of the corresponding mutant cells and will enable selection of therapeutic targets associated with lower risk of emergence of drug resistance.

  13. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yilun

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices.

  14. Visceral Leishmaniasis in Ethiopia: An Evolving Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leta, Samson; Dao, Thi Ha Thanh; Mesele, Frehiwot; Alemayehu, Gezahegn

    2014-01-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis (also known as kala-azar) is classified as one of the most neglected tropical diseases. It is becoming a growing health problem in Ethiopia, with endemic areas that are continually spreading. The annual burden of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Ethiopia is estimated to be between 4,500 and 5,000 cases, and the population at risk is more than 3.2 million. There has been a change in the epidemiology of VL in Ethiopia. Over the last decades, almost all cases and outbreaks of VL were reported from arid and semi-arid parts of the country; however, recent reports indicated the introduction of this disease into the highlands. Migration of labourers to and from endemic areas, climatic and environmental changes, and impaired immunity due to HIV/AIDS and malnutrition resulted in the change of VL epidemiology. HIV spurs the spread of VL by increasing the risk of progression from asymptomatic infection towards full VL. Conversely, VL accelerates the onset of AIDS. In Ethiopia, VL epidemiology remains complex because of the diversity of risk factors involved, and its control is becoming an increasing challenge. This paper reviews the changes in epidemiology of VL in Ethiopia and discusses some of the possible explanations for these changes. The prospects for novel approaches to VL control are discussed, as are the current and future challenges facing Ethiopia's public health development program. PMID:25188253

  15. Evolving a Bayesian Classifier for ECG-based Age Classification in Medical Applications.

    PubMed

    Wiggins, M; Saad, A; Litt, B; Vachtsevanos, G

    2008-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To classify patients by age based upon information extracted from their electro-cardiograms (ECGs). To develop and compare the performance of Bayesian classifiers. METHODS AND MATERIAL: We present a methodology for classifying patients according to statistical features extracted from their ECG signals using a genetically evolved Bayesian network classifier. Continuous signal feature variables are converted to a discrete symbolic form by thresholding, to lower the dimensionality of the signal. This simplifies calculation of conditional probability tables for the classifier, and makes the tables smaller. Two methods of network discovery from data were developed and compared: the first using a greedy hill-climb search and the second employed evolutionary computing using a genetic algorithm (GA). RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The evolved Bayesian network performed better (86.25% AUC) than both the one developed using the greedy algorithm (65% AUC) and the naïve Bayesian classifier (84.75% AUC). The methodology for evolving the Bayesian classifier can be used to evolve Bayesian networks in general thereby identifying the dependencies among the variables of interest. Those dependencies are assumed to be non-existent by naïve Bayesian classifiers. Such a classifier can then be used for medical applications for diagnosis and prediction purposes.

  16. Evolving a Bayesian Classifier for ECG-based Age Classification in Medical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Wiggins, M.; Saad, A.; Litt, B.; Vachtsevanos, G.

    2010-01-01

    Objective To classify patients by age based upon information extracted from their electro-cardiograms (ECGs). To develop and compare the performance of Bayesian classifiers. Methods and Material We present a methodology for classifying patients according to statistical features extracted from their ECG signals using a genetically evolved Bayesian network classifier. Continuous signal feature variables are converted to a discrete symbolic form by thresholding, to lower the dimensionality of the signal. This simplifies calculation of conditional probability tables for the classifier, and makes the tables smaller. Two methods of network discovery from data were developed and compared: the first using a greedy hill-climb search and the second employed evolutionary computing using a genetic algorithm (GA). Results and Conclusions The evolved Bayesian network performed better (86.25% AUC) than both the one developed using the greedy algorithm (65% AUC) and the naïve Bayesian classifier (84.75% AUC). The methodology for evolving the Bayesian classifier can be used to evolve Bayesian networks in general thereby identifying the dependencies among the variables of interest. Those dependencies are assumed to be non-existent by naïve Bayesian classifiers. Such a classifier can then be used for medical applications for diagnosis and prediction purposes. PMID:22010038

  17. Local breeds, livelihoods and livestock keepers' rights in South Asia.

    PubMed

    Köhler-Rollefson, Ilse; Rathore, H S; Mathias, E

    2009-10-01

    In South Asia, and throughout the developing world, the predominant official approach to livestock development has been improvement of production by means of upgrading local breeds via cross-breeding with exotic animals. This strategy has led to the replacement and dilution of locally adapted breeds with non-native ones. This has resulted in an alarming loss that has been estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to amount to one breed every two weeks. Based on selected case studies this paper argues that development strategies using locally adapted breeds and species are much more likely to benefit livestock keepers whilst also maintaining domestic animal diversity and bearing a smaller ecological footprint. It also analyses the rationale for "Livestock Keepers' Rights", a principle that grew out of the struggle of traditional livestock keepers to retain control over their production resources, such as grazing areas and breeding stock, in the face of unfavourable policy environments.

  18. Genetic diversity in Swiss goat breeds based on microsatellite analysis.

    PubMed

    Saitbekova, N; Gaillard, C; Obexer-Ruff, G; Dolf, G

    1999-02-01

    Genetic diversity in eight Swiss goat breeds was estimated using PCR amplification of 20 bovine microsatellites on 20-40 unrelated animals per breed. In addition, the Creole breed from the Caribbean and samples of Ibex and Bezoar goat were included. A total of 352 animals were tested. The bovine microsatellites chosen amplified well in goat. The average heterozygosity within population was higher in domestic goat (0.51-0.58) than in Ibex (0.17) and Bezoar goat (0.19). Twenty-seven per cent of the genetic diversity in the total population could be attributed to differences between the populations. However, with the exclusion of Ibex from the total population, this proportion dropped to 17%. Principal component analysis showed that all Swiss goat breeds are closely related, whereas the Creole breed, Ibex and Bezoar goat are clearly distinct from all eight Swiss breeds.

  19. Genome-wide genetic changes during modern breeding of maize.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yinping; Zhao, Hainan; Ren, Longhui; Song, Weibin; Zeng, Biao; Guo, Jinjie; Wang, Baobao; Liu, Zhipeng; Chen, Jing; Li, Wei; Zhang, Mei; Xie, Shaojun; Lai, Jinsheng

    2012-06-03

    The success of modern maize breeding has been demonstrated by remarkable increases in productivity over the last four decades. However, the underlying genetic changes correlated with these gains remain largely unknown. We report here the sequencing of 278 temperate maize inbred lines from different stages of breeding history, including deep resequencing of 4 lines with known pedigree information. The results show that modern breeding has introduced highly dynamic genetic changes into the maize genome. Artificial selection has affected thousands of targets, including genes and non-genic regions, leading to a reduction in nucleotide diversity and an increase in the proportion of rare alleles. Genetic changes during breeding happen rapidly, with extensive variation (SNPs, indels and copy-number variants (CNVs)) occurring, even within identity-by-descent regions. Our genome-wide assessment of genetic changes during modern maize breeding provides new strategies as well as practical targets for future crop breeding and biotechnology.

  20. Chromospheric activity of evolved late-type stars - Chromospheric activity in evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquini, L.; Brocato, E.; Pallavicini, R.

    1990-08-01

    Ca II K emission in a homogeneous sample of late-type giants and supergiants is analyzed. The Wilson-Bappu relationship and color-temperature scales are used to construct an H-R diagram which is compared with theoretical evolutionary tracks. It is shown that in spite of the errors involved in the determination of the fundamental stellar parameters, a clear relationship between chromospheric surface activity and stellar mass is present. 5-10 solar mass stars in He burning phase show the highest levels of activity; on the other hand, less massive stars ascending along the Red Giant Branch are extremely quiet. A correlation between surface activity and rotation is found, and it is shown that a knowledge of the stellar evolutionary history is essential for understanding chromospheric emission from evolved stars.

  1. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Crumbly, Christopher M.; Robinson, Kimerly F.

    2016-01-01

    A foundational capability for international human deep-space exploration, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle represents a new spaceflight infrastructure asset, creating opportunities for mission profiles and space systems that cannot currently be executed. While the primary purpose of SLS, which is making rapid progress towards initial launch readiness in two years, will be to support NASA's Journey to Mars, discussions are already well underway regarding other potential utilization of the vehicle's unique capabilities. In its initial Block 1 configuration, capable of launching 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), SLS is capable of propelling the Orion crew vehicle to cislunar space, while also delivering small CubeSat-class spacecraft to deep-space destinations. With the addition of a more powerful upper stage, the Block 1B configuration of SLS will be able to deliver 105 t to LEO and enable more ambitious human missions into the proving ground of space. This configuration offers opportunities for launching co-manifested payloads with the Orion crew vehicle, and a class of secondary payloads, larger than today's CubeSats. Further upgrades to the vehicle, including advanced boosters, will evolve its performance to 130 t in its Block 2 configuration. Both Block 1B and Block 2 also offer the capability to carry 8.4- or 10-m payload fairings, larger than any contemporary launch vehicle. With unmatched mass-lift capability, payload volume, and C3, SLS not only enables spacecraft or mission designs currently impossible with contemporary EELVs, it also offers enhancing benefits, such as reduced risk, operational costs and/or complexity, shorter transit time to destination or launching large systems either monolithically or in fewer components. This paper will discuss both the performance and capabilities of Space Launch System as it evolves, and the current state of SLS utilization planning.

  2. To breed or not to breed: endocrine response to mercury contamination by an Arctic seabird

    PubMed Central

    Tartu, Sabrina; Goutte, Aurélie; Bustamante, Paco; Angelier, Frédéric; Moe, Børge; Clément-Chastel, Céline; Bech, Claus; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Bustnes, Jan Ove; Chastel, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Mercury, a ubiquitous toxic element, is known to alter expression of sex steroids and to impair reproduction across vertebrates but the mechanisms underlying these effects are not clearly identified. We examined whether contamination by mercury predicts the probability to skip reproduction in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Svalbard. We also manipulated the endocrine system to investigate the mechanism underlying this relationship. During the pre-laying period, we injected exogenous GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) to test the ability of the pituitary to release luteinizing hormone (LH, a key hormone for the release of sex steroids and hence breeding) in relation to mercury burden. Birds that skipped reproduction had significantly higher mercury concentration in blood than breeders. Endocrine profiles of these birds also varied based on breeding status (breeders versus non-breeders), mercury contamination and sex. Specifically, in skippers (birds that did not breed), baseline LH decreased with increasing mercury concentration in males, whereas it increased in females. GnRH-induced LH levels increased with increasing mercury concentration in both sexes. These results suggest that mercury contamination may disrupt GnRH input to the pituitary. Thus, high mercury concentration could affect the ability of long-lived birds to modulate their reproductive effort (skipping or breeding) according to ongoing environmental changes in the Arctic, thereby impacting population dynamics. PMID:23720523

  3. To breed or not to breed: endocrine response to mercury contamination by an Arctic seabird.

    PubMed

    Tartu, Sabrina; Goutte, Aurélie; Bustamante, Paco; Angelier, Frédéric; Moe, Børge; Clément-Chastel, Céline; Bech, Claus; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Bustnes, Jan Ove; Chastel, Olivier

    2013-08-23

    Mercury, a ubiquitous toxic element, is known to alter expression of sex steroids and to impair reproduction across vertebrates but the mechanisms underlying these effects are not clearly identified. We examined whether contamination by mercury predicts the probability to skip reproduction in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Svalbard. We also manipulated the endocrine system to investigate the mechanism underlying this relationship. During the pre-laying period, we injected exogenous GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) to test the ability of the pituitary to release luteinizing hormone (LH, a key hormone for the release of sex steroids and hence breeding) in relation to mercury burden. Birds that skipped reproduction had significantly higher mercury concentration in blood than breeders. Endocrine profiles of these birds also varied based on breeding status (breeders versus non-breeders), mercury contamination and sex. Specifically, in skippers (birds that did not breed), baseline LH decreased with increasing mercury concentration in males, whereas it increased in females. GnRH-induced LH levels increased with increasing mercury concentration in both sexes. These results suggest that mercury contamination may disrupt GnRH input to the pituitary. Thus, high mercury concentration could affect the ability of long-lived birds to modulate their reproductive effort (skipping or breeding) according to ongoing environmental changes in the Arctic, thereby impacting population dynamics.

  4. Combining Breeding Bird Survey and distance sampling to estimate density of migrant and breeding birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Somershoe, S.G.; Twedt, D.J.; Reid, B.

    2006-01-01

    We combined Breeding Bird Survey point count protocol and distance sampling to survey spring migrant and breeding birds in Vicksburg National Military Park on 33 days between March and June of 2003 and 2004. For 26 of 106 detected species, we used program DISTANCE to estimate detection probabilities and densities from 660 3-min point counts in which detections were recorded within four distance annuli. For most species, estimates of detection probability, and thereby density estimates, were improved through incorporation of the proportion of forest cover at point count locations as a covariate. Our results suggest Breeding Bird Surveys would benefit from the use of distance sampling and a quantitative characterization of habitat at point count locations. During spring migration, we estimated that the most common migrant species accounted for a population of 5000-9000 birds in Vicksburg National Military Park (636 ha). Species with average populations of 300 individuals during migration were: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula). Of 56 species that bred in Vicksburg National Military Park, we estimated that the most common 18 species accounted for 8150 individuals. The six most abundant breeding species, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), accounted for 5800 individuals.

  5. Extent of linkage disequilibrium in large breed dogs: chromosomal and breed variation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: Understanding extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) is a crucial component for successful utilization of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The extent of LD in the dog has been described based upon small marker sets in multiple breeds and studies. Understanding variation in LD on a per...

  6. Continuous in vitro evolution of catalytic function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, M. C.; Joyce, G. F.

    1997-01-01

    A population of RNA molecules that catalyze the template-directed ligation of RNA substrates was made to evolve in a continuous manner in the test tube. A simple serial transfer procedure was used to achieve approximately 300 successive rounds of catalysis and selective amplification in 52 hours. During this time, the population size was maintained against an overall dilution of 3 x 10(298). Both the catalytic rate and amplification rate of the RNAs improved substantially as a consequence of mutations that accumulated during the evolution process. Continuous in vitro evolution makes it possible to maintain laboratory "cultures" of catalytic molecules that can be perpetuated indefinitely.

  7. Comparison of Model Predictions and Laboratory Observations of Transgene Frequencies in Continuously-Breeding Mosquito Populations.

    PubMed

    Valerio, Laura; North, Ace; Collins, C Matilda; Mumford, John D; Facchinelli, Luca; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Benedict, Mark Q

    2016-01-01

    The persistence of transgenes in the environment is a consideration in risk assessments of transgenic organisms. Combining mathematical models that predict the frequency of transgenes and experimental demonstrations can validate the model predictions, or can detect significant biological deviations that were neither apparent nor included as model parameters. In order to assess the correlation between predictions and observations, models were constructed to estimate the frequency of a transgene causing male sexual sterility in simulated populations of a malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae that were seeded with transgenic females at various proportions. Concurrently, overlapping-generation laboratory populations similar to those being modeled were initialized with various starting transgene proportions, and the subsequent proportions of transgenic individuals in populations were determined weekly until the transgene disappeared. The specific transgene being tested contained a homing endonuclease gene expressed in testes, I-PpoI, that cleaves the ribosomal DNA and results in complete male sexual sterility with no effect on female fertility. The transgene was observed to disappear more rapidly than the model predicted in all cases. The period before ovipositions that contained no transgenic progeny ranged from as little as three weeks after cage initiation to as long as 11 weeks. PMID:27669312

  8. Breeding Bird Community Continues to Colonize Riparian Buffers Ten Years after Harvest.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Scott F; Giovanini, Jack; Jones, Jay E; Kroll, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems integrate aquatic and terrestrial communities and often contain unique assemblages of flora and fauna. Retention of forested buffers along riparian habitats is a commonly employed practice to reduce potential negative effects of land use on aquatic systems. However, very few studies have examined long-term population and community responses to buffers, leading to considerable uncertainty about effectiveness of this practice for achieving conservation and management outcomes. We examined short- (1-2 years) and long-term (~10 years) avian community responses (occupancy and abundance) to riparian buffer prescriptions to clearcut logging silvicultural practices in the Pacific Northwest USA. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact experimental approach and temporally replicated point counts analyzed within a Bayesian framework. Our experimental design consisted of forested control sites with no harvest, sites with relatively narrow (~13 m) forested buffers on each side of the stream, and sites with wider (~30 m) and more variable width unharvested buffer. Buffer treatments exhibited a 31-44% increase in mean species richness in the post-harvest years, a pattern most evident 10 years post-harvest. Post-harvest, species turnover was much higher on both treatments (63-74%) relative to the controls (29%). We did not find evidence of local extinction for any species but found strong evidence (no overlap in 95% credible intervals) for an increase in site occupancy on both Narrow (short-term: 7%; long-term 29%) and Wide buffers (short-term: 21%; long-term 93%) relative to controls after harvest. We did not find a treatment effect on total avian abundance. When assessing relationships between buffer width and site level abundance of four riparian specialists, we did not find strong evidence of reduced abundance in Narrow or Wide buffers. Silviculture regulations in this region dictate average buffer widths on small and large permanent streams that range from ~22-25 m. Guidelines for this region are within the range of buffers included in our study, in which we observed no evidence for avian species loss or for a decline in species abundance (including riparian associated species).

  9. Breeding Bird Community Continues to Colonize Riparian Buffers Ten Years after Harvest

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems integrate aquatic and terrestrial communities and often contain unique assemblages of flora and fauna. Retention of forested buffers along riparian habitats is a commonly employed practice to reduce potential negative effects of land use on aquatic systems. However, very few studies have examined long-term population and community responses to buffers, leading to considerable uncertainty about effectiveness of this practice for achieving conservation and management outcomes. We examined short- (1–2 years) and long-term (~10 years) avian community responses (occupancy and abundance) to riparian buffer prescriptions to clearcut logging silvicultural practices in the Pacific Northwest USA. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact experimental approach and temporally replicated point counts analyzed within a Bayesian framework. Our experimental design consisted of forested control sites with no harvest, sites with relatively narrow (~13m) forested buffers on each side of the stream, and sites with wider (~30m) and more variable width unharvested buffer. Buffer treatments exhibited a 31–44% increase in mean species richness in the post-harvest years, a pattern most evident 10 years post-harvest. Post-harvest, species turnover was much higher on both treatments (63–74%) relative to the controls (29%). We did not find evidence of local extinction for any species but found strong evidence (no overlap in 95% credible intervals) for an increase in site occupancy on both Narrow (short-term: 7%; long-term 29%) and Wide buffers (short-term: 21%; long-term 93%) relative to controls after harvest. We did not find a treatment effect on total avian abundance. When assessing relationships between buffer width and site level abundance of four riparian specialists, we did not find strong evidence of reduced abundance in Narrow or Wide buffers. Silviculture regulations in this region dictate average buffer widths on small and large permanent streams that range from ~22–25 m. Guidelines for this region are within the range of buffers included in our study, in which we observed no evidence for avian species loss or for a decline in species abundance (including riparian associated species). PMID:26637120

  10. Breeding Bird Community Continues to Colonize Riparian Buffers Ten Years after Harvest.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Scott F; Giovanini, Jack; Jones, Jay E; Kroll, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems integrate aquatic and terrestrial communities and often contain unique assemblages of flora and fauna. Retention of forested buffers along riparian habitats is a commonly employed practice to reduce potential negative effects of land use on aquatic systems. However, very few studies have examined long-term population and community responses to buffers, leading to considerable uncertainty about effectiveness of this practice for achieving conservation and management outcomes. We examined short- (1-2 years) and long-term (~10 years) avian community responses (occupancy and abundance) to riparian buffer prescriptions to clearcut logging silvicultural practices in the Pacific Northwest USA. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact experimental approach and temporally replicated point counts analyzed within a Bayesian framework. Our experimental design consisted of forested control sites with no harvest, sites with relatively narrow (~13 m) forested buffers on each side of the stream, and sites with wider (~30 m) and more variable width unharvested buffer. Buffer treatments exhibited a 31-44% increase in mean species richness in the post-harvest years, a pattern most evident 10 years post-harvest. Post-harvest, species turnover was much higher on both treatments (63-74%) relative to the controls (29%). We did not find evidence of local extinction for any species but found strong evidence (no overlap in 95% credible intervals) for an increase in site occupancy on both Narrow (short-term: 7%; long-term 29%) and Wide buffers (short-term: 21%; long-term 93%) relative to controls after harvest. We did not find a treatment effect on total avian abundance. When assessing relationships between buffer width and site level abundance of four riparian specialists, we did not find strong evidence of reduced abundance in Narrow or Wide buffers. Silviculture regulations in this region dictate average buffer widths on small and large permanent streams that range from ~22-25 m. Guidelines for this region are within the range of buffers included in our study, in which we observed no evidence for avian species loss or for a decline in species abundance (including riparian associated species). PMID:26637120

  11. Comparison of Model Predictions and Laboratory Observations of Transgene Frequencies in Continuously-Breeding Mosquito Populations.

    PubMed

    Valerio, Laura; North, Ace; Collins, C Matilda; Mumford, John D; Facchinelli, Luca; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Benedict, Mark Q

    2016-01-01

    The persistence of transgenes in the environment is a consideration in risk assessments of transgenic organisms. Combining mathematical models that predict the frequency of transgenes and experimental demonstrations can validate the model predictions, or can detect significant biological deviations that were neither apparent nor included as model parameters. In order to assess the correlation between predictions and observations, models were constructed to estimate the frequency of a transgene causing male sexual sterility in simulated populations of a malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae that were seeded with transgenic females at various proportions. Concurrently, overlapping-generation laboratory populations similar to those being modeled were initialized with various starting transgene proportions, and the subsequent proportions of transgenic individuals in populations were determined weekly until the transgene disappeared. The specific transgene being tested contained a homing endonuclease gene expressed in testes, I-PpoI, that cleaves the ribosomal DNA and results in complete male sexual sterility with no effect on female fertility. The transgene was observed to disappear more rapidly than the model predicted in all cases. The period before ovipositions that contained no transgenic progeny ranged from as little as three weeks after cage initiation to as long as 11 weeks.

  12. Simulated breeding with QU-GENE graphical user interface.

    PubMed

    Hathorn, Adrian; Chapman, Scott; Dieters, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Comparing the efficiencies of breeding methods with field experiments is a costly, long-term process. QU-GENE is a highly flexible genetic and breeding simulation platform capable of simulating the performance of a range of different breeding strategies and for a continuum of genetic models ranging from simple to complex. In this chapter we describe some of the basic mechanics behind the QU-GENE user interface and give a simplified example of how it works.

  13. Uncertain breeding: a short history of reproduction in monotremes.

    PubMed

    Temple-Smith, P; Grant, T

    2001-01-01

    Although much is known about the biology of monotremes, many important aspects of their reproduction remain unclear. Studies over the last century have provided valuable information on various aspects of monotreme reproduction including the structure and function of their reproductive system, breeding behaviour, sex determination and seasonality. All three living genera of monotremes have been successfully maintained in captivity, often for long periods, yet breeding has been rare and unpredictable. When breeding has occurred, however, significant gains in knowledge have ensued; for example a more accurate estimate of the gestation period of the platypus and the incubation period for the Tachyglossus egg. One of the great challenges for zoos has been to understand why breeding of monotremes is difficult to achieve. Analysis of breeding successes of platypuses and short-beaked echidnas provides some insights. The evidence suggests that although annual breeding seasons are regionally predictable, individual adult females breed unpredictably, with some showing breeding intervals of many years. The reason for this variation in individual breeding intervals may be resource-dependant, influenced by social factors or may even be genetically induced. Better knowledge of factors that influence breeding intervals may improve the success of monotreme captive breeding programmes. More certainty in captive breeding is also an important issue for enterprises wishing to trade in Australian wildlife since current legislation limits export of Australian fauna for display to at least second-generation captive-bred individuals. Given their unique evolutionary position, knowledge of reproduction in monotremes needs to be gained in advance of any future population declines so that appropriate strategies can be developed to ensure their survival.

  14. The development of a new breed of sheep in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Scott, H M; Ospina, O; Williams, H L

    1990-01-01

    A new breed of sheep has been developed in Colombia by crossing Scottish Blackface rams with the indigenous Criolla ewes and then interbreeding the progeny, with selection based on performance. It has been given the name Manchada Paramuna. The breed has been developed to provide the small producer (campesino) with a breeding ewe which has a high level of fertility, a good fleece, and which produces lambs with high survival rate and good growth rate. PMID:2331588

  15. [Linkage disequilibrium analysis for microsatellite loci in six cattle breeds].

    PubMed

    Kiseleva, T Iu; Kantanen, J; Vorob'ev, N I; Podoba, B E; Terletskiĭ, V P

    2014-04-01

    Autosomal microsatellites are valuable tools for investigating genetic diversity and population structure and making conservation decisions to preserve valuable breeds of domestic animals. We carried out a linkage disequilibrium analysis using 29 microsatellite markers in six cattle populations: Suksun, Istoben, Yaroslavl, Kholmogory, Grey Ukrainian and Pechora type Kholmogory breeds. We discovered a significant linkage between microsatellites INRA037 and CSRM60 in Grey Ukrainian breed.

  16. Uncertain breeding: a short history of reproduction in monotremes.

    PubMed

    Temple-Smith, P; Grant, T

    2001-01-01

    Although much is known about the biology of monotremes, many important aspects of their reproduction remain unclear. Studies over the last century have provided valuable information on various aspects of monotreme reproduction including the structure and function of their reproductive system, breeding behaviour, sex determination and seasonality. All three living genera of monotremes have been successfully maintained in captivity, often for long periods, yet breeding has been rare and unpredictable. When breeding has occurred, however, significant gains in knowledge have ensued; for example a more accurate estimate of the gestation period of the platypus and the incubation period for the Tachyglossus egg. One of the great challenges for zoos has been to understand why breeding of monotremes is difficult to achieve. Analysis of breeding successes of platypuses and short-beaked echidnas provides some insights. The evidence suggests that although annual breeding seasons are regionally predictable, individual adult females breed unpredictably, with some showing breeding intervals of many years. The reason for this variation in individual breeding intervals may be resource-dependant, influenced by social factors or may even be genetically induced. Better knowledge of factors that influence breeding intervals may improve the success of monotreme captive breeding programmes. More certainty in captive breeding is also an important issue for enterprises wishing to trade in Australian wildlife since current legislation limits export of Australian fauna for display to at least second-generation captive-bred individuals. Given their unique evolutionary position, knowledge of reproduction in monotremes needs to be gained in advance of any future population declines so that appropriate strategies can be developed to ensure their survival. PMID:11999298

  17. The role of selective breeding and biosecurity in the prevention of disease in penaeid shrimp aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Moss, Shaun M; Moss, Dustin R; Arce, Steve M; Lightner, Donald V; Lotz, Jeffrey M

    2012-06-01

    About 3.5 million metric tons of farmed shrimp were produced globally in 2009 with an estimated value greater than USD$14.6 billion. Despite the economic importance of farmed shrimp, the global shrimp farming industry continues to be plagued by disease. There are a number of strategies a shrimp farmer can employ to mitigate crop loss from disease, including the use of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF), selectively bred shrimp and the adoption of on-farm biosecurity practices. Selective breeding for disease resistance began in the mid 1990s in response to outbreaks of Taura syndrome, caused by Taura syndrome virus (TSV), which devastated populations of farmed shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) throughout the Americas. Breeding programs designed to enhance TSV survival have generated valuable information about the quantitative genetics of disease resistance in shrimp and have produced shrimp families which exhibit high survival after TSV exposure. The commercial availability of these selected shrimp has benefitted the shrimp farming industry and TSV is no longer considered a major threat in many shrimp farming regions. Although selective breeding has been valuable in combating TSV, this approach has not been effective for other viral pathogens and selective breeding may not be the most effective strategy for the long-term viability of the industry. Cost-effective, on-farm biosecurity protocols can be more practical and less expensive than breeding programs designed to enhance disease resistance. Of particular importance is the use of SPF shrimp stocked in biosecure environments where physical barriers are in place to mitigate the introduction and spread of virulent pathogens.

  18. Impact of cloning on cattle breeding systems.

    PubMed

    McClintock, A E

    1998-01-01

    The concept of clone-family testing is compared with existing progeny testing systems. The critical factors that will decide how cloning is utilized are the potential size of cloned families, and the cost per embryo (or per calf born). If family sizes of 100,000 become routinely achievable (cheaply), then clone testing becomes viable. In rough figures, cloned embryos costing $30 with a 50% calving rate would be attractive to farmers and would be cheap enough that farmers would buy more (crossbred) embryos in order to breed further replacement cows. At $300 per embryo, farmers would be more inclined to buy a number of cloned pure-bred female embryos and then to use conventional artificial insemination to breed further replacements from these superior cows. At $3000 per embryo, farmers would probably only be interested in very small numbers of cloned animals, most of which would be males. The relative importance of adult versus fetal cloning is discussed. The need for gene banks to preserve genetic variation is emphasized; both gametes and somatic tissue cultures should be considered.

  19. Circannual Testis Changes in Seasonally Breeding Mammals.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Rafael; Burgos, Miguel; Barrionuevo, Francisco J

    2015-01-01

    In the non-equatorial zones of the Earth, species concentrate their reproductive effort in the more favorable season. A consequence of seasonal breeding is seasonal testis regression, which implies the depletion of the germinative epithelium, permeation of the blood-testis barrier, and reduced androgenic function. This process has been studied in a number of vertebrates, but the mechanisms controlling it are not yet well understood. Apoptosis was assumed for years to be an important effector of seasonal germ cell depletion in all vertebrates, including mammals, but an alternative mechanism has recently been reported in the Iberian mole as well as in the large hairy armadillo. It is based on the desquamation of meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells as a consequence of altered Sertoli-germ cell adhesion molecule expression and distribution. Desquamated cells are either discarded alive through the epididymis, as in the mole, or subsequently die by apoptosis, as in the armadillo. Also, recent findings on the reproductive cycle of the greater white-toothed shrew at the meridional limits of its distribution area have revealed that the mechanisms controlling seasonal breeding are in fact far more plastic and versatile than initially suspected. Perhaps these higher adaptive capacities place mammals in a better position to face the ongoing climate change. PMID:26375035

  20. Tornadic storm avoidance behavior in breeding songbirds.

    PubMed

    Streby, Henry M; Kramer, Gunnar R; Peterson, Sean M; Lehman, Justin A; Buehler, David A; Andersen, David E

    2015-01-01

    Migration is a common behavior used by animals of many taxa to occupy different habitats during different periods. Migrant birds are categorized as either facultative (i.e., those that are forced to migrate by some proximal cue, often weather) or obligate (i.e., those that migrate on a regular cycle). During migration, obligate migrants can curtail or delay flights in response to inclement weather or until favorable winds prevail, and they can temporarily reorient or reverse direction when ecological or meteorological obstacles are encountered. However, it is not known whether obligate migrants undertake facultative migrations and make large-scale movements in response to proximal cues outside of their regular migration periods. Here, we present the first documentation of obligate long-distance migrant birds undertaking a facultative migration, wherein breeding golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) carrying light-level geolocators performed a >1,500 km 5-day circumvention of a severe tornadic storm. The birds evacuated their breeding territories >24 hr before the arrival of the storm and atmospheric variation associated with it. The probable cue, radiating >1,000 km from tornadic storms, perceived by birds and influencing bird behavior and movements, is infrasound (i.e., sound below the range of human hearing). With the predicted increase in severity and frequency of similar storms as anthropogenic climate change progresses, understanding large-scale behavioral responses of animals to such events will be an important objective of future research.